Last mile Internet connectivity within the Enterprise or in rural areas can be a key enabler for Digital Transformation. Providing ultra-reliable, low latency, time sensitive network connectivity in the last mile will lead to proliferation of real-time applications like Industry 4.0, AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle), AMR (Autonomous Mobile Robots), Precision Agriculture, Remote Surgery, Unmanned Banking. In this article, we discuss how these use cases are achieved with Open Source 5G Infrastructure as a Service.

This article was originally published by Niral Networks.

The last mile Internet connectivity has been a problem due to lack of appropriate technology to run Industry 4.0 application. Existing technologies like WIFI, LTE does not provide the determinism and flexibility required for real-time Industry 4.0 applications. Enterprises also has the challenge of over dependency on proprietary solutions from few Incumbent Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM). Proprietary solutions are inflexible, causes massive difficulties during upgrades or integration, and ultimately leads to higher cost.

Release 16 of 3GPP supports Time Sensitive Networking (TSN) for 5G, it will guarantee the determinism required for real-time Industry 4.0 application. And we believe that the deployment of private 5G Infrastructure within Enterprises will help to leapfrog the technology barrier for last mile Internet connectivity.

Niral Networks private 5G Network Infrastructure as a Service (5GaaS) is developed using its Open & Disaggregated Network Operating System called NiralOS. NiralOS provides an affordable, secured, and ultra-reliable wireless last mile Network connectivity within the Enterprises for Industry 4.0, Precision Agriculture, AGV applications.

Niral’s advantage is its openness, flexibility, and use of emerging technology like SDN, NFV, White box disaggregation. NiralOS is developed using open standards and curated open-source software that brings in the flexibility for customers to choose any off-the-shelf White box Hardware. It results in the democratization of network infrastructure and not be tied to the proprietary, closed systems. When NiralOS-based products are deployed, it frees up the customers from any type of vendor lock-in, creating unparalleled opportunities, including competitive pricing, more flexibility, faster innovation, and cost-effective scaling, which all ultimately have the potential to significantly reduce the cost.

Niral team recommends the Radio and White box HW options to its customers. Niral’s 5G Infrastructure Software is ZERO CAPEX and is available on a subscription plan. Customer can procure their choice of HW and choose the appropriate NiralOS subscription plan.

NiralOS 5Gaas can be deployed using 3 approaches:

  • Private 5G Operator riding over the Top of Telecom Infrastructure
  • Private 5G Service provided by Telecom Operator
  • Private 5G managed by Enterprise

1. Private 5G Operator riding over the Top of Telecom Infrastructure

This deployment is similar to that of the OTT Services. OTT applications like Facebook, Netflix, AWS use the Telco network infrastructure for the connectivity but do not directly contribute to the telecom operator’s revenue. As per ABI Research, a rising number of enterprises are looking at deploying private on-premises cellular networks, with only very limited interaction with public cellular networks so that they can customize the network to the respective specific requirements regarding network performance and data integrity. The new initiatives in the spectrum allotment and the rising need of private cellular network within enterprises has led to the emergence of Private 5G Operator. The private 5G Operator can operate the private cellular network using unlicensed spectrum with technologies like MulteFire and NR-U or use shared spectrum like CBRS(Citizen’s Broadband Radio Spectrum) or UK Spectrum Sharing.

Private 5G Operators uses NiralOS Transport and Edge NOS within the Enterprise’s private Network. Niral Controller is deployed in the Public Cloud and the Enterprises can register to the private Operator’s 5GaaS portal to start managing their private network.

2. Private 5G Service provided by Telecom Operator

This private 5G deployment is done by the operator. The spectrum of the on-premise cellular network would be provided by the Operator. Private 5G deployment will open up new revenue opportunities for the entire telco industry. This network also has the advantage of smooth handover between the private Network and Operator’s Public Network.

Telecom Operators can use NiralOS based Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway (DCSG), DPI (Deep Packet Inspection) within their network. Telecom Operator also use NiralOS Transport and Edge NOS within the Enterprise’s Network Infrastructure. Niral Controller is deployed within the Telco Cloud and the Enterprises can register to the Operator’s 5GaaS portal to start managing their private network.

3. Private 5G managed by Enterprise

Bigger Enterprises may like to manage their private network and not be dependent on other operators. They can get possession of the spectrum on a localized basis from national regulators without the intervention of Telecom Operators. They can also use the unlicensed or shared spectrum in their private 5G Network.

Enterprises can use Niral Network and its partner consulting services for the Radio, Network Planning and its Solution Design. They can use NiralOS Transport and Edge NOS within the Enterprise’s private Network. Niral Controller is deployed within the Enterprise Private Cloud. Enterprises can start managing their private network using the NiralOS 5G portal.

NiralOS – Curated, Open & Disaggregated Network Operating System

NiralOS is developed using best-of-breed open source software and curated to be carrier-grade, robust, scalable and feature compliant. NiralOS uses a community driven development where any individual is open to contribute towards the software enrichment or support, similar to Linux, and is integrable to any off-the-shelf White box hardware to create a Vendor Agnostic Disaggregated Networking Solution. We believe that the network democratization cannot be done alone, we collaborate with partners to accelerate the democratization in the last-mile Internet connectivity. We collaborate with Open Communities like Telecom Infra Project (TIP), Open Source projects like DANOS, MAGMA, ODL and White box ODMs for the network democratization and disaggregation.

NiralOS 5G infrastructure Software is divided into 3 main components:

  • Transport NOS provides the IP/MPLS connectivity from the Cell-Site to the Edge or Core location using DCSG and Access Routers
  • Edge Gateway does the Mobility, Session Management and User Plane Forwarding at the Enterprise Edge
  • Controller is hosted in the Operator’s Network and does the orchestration, provisioning, policy for all the private Networks

Niral Transport

DCSG or Access Router forwards traffic from the cell site towards the Edge or Core location. DCSG supports IPv4/IPv6 routing protocols, MPLS Signaling, Segment Routing, MPLS-VPN, E-VPN. NiralOS is SAI compliant and integrated with Linux, DPDK, Broadcom SDK based White box HWs supporting throughput from 10 to 300 Gbps.  DCSG is deployed in both the private and operator Network.

Niral Edge

Edge Gateway does the Authentication, Mobility, Session and Security Management within the private Network. It also provides local break-out for Internet traffic and routes the internal traffic within the Private Network. Edge Gateway is deployed within the private Network of the Enterprise and is essential for ultra-reliable, low latency applications like Industry 4.0, UGV. It is deployed as CNFs, VNFs in COTS server. 

Niral Controller

It provides centralized orchestration, Policy Control, zero touch provisioning and Network Slicing for each private Network. It is deployed in the Cloud and has visibility of all the Edge Gateway and Transport routers/DCSG within each Private Network. The Controller is deployed as CNFs, VNFs within the cloud.

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