UK industrial 5G testbed recruits Accedian to run quality checks on slicing and splicing
Canada based performance analytics software company Accedian has joined the UK government’s 5G-ENCODE project, billed as the UK’s largest trial of industrial 5G. Accedian will introduce performance monitoring and assurance to the project’s private LTE / 5G setup at the National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, in the UK. The new installation will enable private networks to be monitored for quality-of-service.
The 5G-ENCODE project is investigating three key industrial 5G use cases to improve productivity and effectiveness of composite design and manufacture: interactive augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR); asset tracking across multiple sites and locations; and industrial system management. Tests have been run initially on an LTE reference network, installed at the NCC in October 2020. Construction of an industrial 5G upgrade is underway.
The project, led by Zeetta Networks, brings together a number of other partners, including Telefonica, Siemens, Druid Software, Toshiba, Solvay, and Baker Hughes, as well as the NCC, the University of Bristol, and the West of England Combined Authority (WECA). The project makes use of slicing technologies from Zeetta Networks for use with private and public cellular networks.
Accedian’s Skylight network monitoring and testing solution has been teed-up to enable real-time network visibility and anomaly detection. A press statement quotes CapGemini, that “two out of three industrial companies believe that guaranteed quality of service is critical for their digital transformation”. The Accedian solution will test the accuracy of Zeetta Networks’ network slicing and splicing, which is a key proof point for the 5G testbed.
A statement said: “Accedian measures everything critical to the success of delivering each and every element of the service chain. By using Zeetta’s technology, in conjunction with accurate real-time performance data provided by Accedian, operators can set up automatic network orchestration, whereby leftover network capacity is redirected, making the factory more efficient and productive.”
Benefits for additional 5G-ENCODE partners, including Telefonica and Siemens, will also be explored, said Accedian. The 5G-ENCODE project runs until March 2022, when industrial 5G deployments are expected across manufacturing hubs in the UK.
Vassilis Seferidis, co-founder and chief executive at Zeetta Networks, said: “One of the most innovative and useful benefits associated with a private 5G network is that it can host slicing and splicing technology. Partnering with Accedian enables us to gain greater insight into the accuracy of this functionality, to help manufacturers redirect network capacity to where it’s needed on the factory floor. Not only will this have a positive impact on the manufacturing sector’s economic output but also on the industry’s steps towards working more sustainably.”
Richard Piasentin, chief strategy officer at Accedian, said: “5G promises to revolutionise manufacturing not only with much needed additional security for critical applications, but it delivers illusive “dedicated resources” with guaranteed quality of service. [This] collaboration takes us one step closer to proving the capabilities of a network that will deliver quantifiable business value with visibility and assurance for critical applications and the end user experience. What we learn impacts the art of the possible with AI and VR to enable a new generation of remote interaction across industries from manufacturing, healthcare to gaming.”
The Zeetta Networks software gives single-plane dashboard control and management of both mobile and Wi-Fi networks, from any vendor. It has also been tested in smart city initiatives Bristol is Open and Bournemouth Smart Place, as well as in multi-purpose venues such as Ashton Gate stadium, home of Bristol City FC and Bristol Bears rugby union teams. The software supports the UK government’s 5G ‘supply chain diversification strategy’.
Zeetta Networks has a deal with Germany-based open networking specialist Stordis to develop and distribute its management software for private LTE and 5G networks to enterprise resellers globally. The deal covers distribution of the Zeetta Enterprise network management platform, which affords enterprises control over complex multi-vendor, multi-site private cellular networks. Stordis will also integrate the platform into its portfolio of open radio networking (openRAN) solutions to offer enterprises more bespoke solutions.