Celona brings eSIM support for private 5G, signs with Qualcomm’s smart-city crew
California-based startup Celona has announced support for software-based embedded SIM (eSIM) technology to simplify device provisioning for private LTE and 5G networks. The firm has also announced it has joined Qualcomm’s smart cities accelerator ecosystem as an approved supplier of cloud-based private network management.
Celona offers a cloud-based network overlay for private networks – including non-cellular Wi-Fi infrastructure, as well as cellular-based LTE and 5G – that affords enterprises a way to allocate and automate network resources to respond to use case requirements for policy routing, service quality, and security segmentation.
The draw for enterprises is to orchestrate network management and slicing, and automate troubleshooting, of increasingly complex and dynamic network topologies. It takes advantage of new options for enterprises to licence (or sub-licence) spectrum for local-area LTE and 5G networks, notably via CBRS refarming mechanisms in the US.
Celona is targeting smart cities, outdoor campuses, and industrial settings, in line with the rest of the private LTE and 5G markets. Its vision, of an ‘edgeless enterprise’, is to transition enterprise networks from traditional, monolithic, hardware-based infrastructure to cloud-native, software-defined architecture.
The new eSIM initiative furthers its promise of easier enterprise networking infrastructure by streamlining the management of client devices accessing mobile networks, it said. Incoming eSIM technology, a step removed from integrated (software-based) SIMs (iSIMs), is gripping the IoT sector, allowing battery-powered fit-and-forget devices to be remotely provisioned to be deployed at scale in different locations across the world.
It allows IT staff to provide QR activation codes to scan and activate devices, rather than manually configuring and shipping physical SIMs. Celona claims its private network platform works with eSIM activation of CBRS-capable devices, such as the Apple iPhone, Apple iPad and the new Zebra T26 touch computer. The company said it is working with various mobile device management solutions to automatically push activation codes directly to devices.
Mehmet Yavuz, co-founder and chief technology officer at Celona, said: “The use of eSIMs represents a significant market shift in advancing how devices are bootstrapped and managed on private cellular networks. We are uniquely focused on simplifying the deployment and streamlining the end-to-end operation of private mobile networks by eliminating many of the friction points that have historically inhibited widespread adoption.”
Meanwhile, membership of Qualcomm’s smart cities accelerator is a useful feather-in-the-cap. It joins sundry hardware and software providers, cloud solution providers, system integrators, and design and manufacturing companies on the programme, which works like a recommendation service and collaboration framework for preferred suppliers. Qualcomm is providing some tech wizardry into the Celona system, as well, of course.
In a press statement, Celona highlighted the 5G micro-slicing capability – patent-pending, trademarked as MicroSlicing – in its private networking platform for cities to design networking policies for multiple use cases in the same cellular network. Video surveillance cameras, in-vehicle connectivity, automated guided vehicle (AGV) connectivity, and private push-to-talk comms were all listed as prime cases for network slicing in smart cities.
Yavuz said: “We see private 5G becoming a strategic asset for smart cities across the US. Joining the Qualcomm Smart Cities Accelerator Program is a testament to the unique solution our engineering team has been able to bring to market in record time. Our technology and go-to-market strategy have been designed to improve time-to-implementation via proven solutions across a growing set of technology ecosystem partners.”
Sanjeet Pandit, senior director, business development and head of smart cities at Qualcomm, said: “Together we can enable breakthroughs in private 5G and usher in a new era of possibilities for city infrastructure and connected services. Celona’s solution architecture powered… gives our IoT ecosystem access to the highest levels of predictability… while providing a cost-effective solution for scaling the next generation of smart cities.”