Home5GIT firm COCUS taps Airspan for private 5G as SI bandwagon rolls on in home of Industry 4.0

IT firm COCUS taps Airspan for private 5G as SI bandwagon rolls on in home of Industry 4.0

The private LTE/5G bandwagon rolls on with system integrators (SIs) in Germany. Further to the report yesterday, that Ireland-based Druid Software has teamed up with IT specialist Becon in the home of Industrie 4.0, US radio equipment vendor Airspan Networks has announced a deal to furnish fellow German outfit COCUS with 5G-based open RAN solutions.

Airspan Networks and Druid Software already work together with Siticom, another system integrator driving so-called campus-netz solutions among German enterprises. The pair provide radio and core networking equipment, respectively. It would be of little surprise if Druid Software was confirmed by COCUS for LTE/5G core solutions, and Airspan Networks was confirmed by Becon for radio gear. 

But we are jumping the gun. The story goes that COCUS has developed its own core networking component, to go with Airspan Networks’ open RAN software and hardware. A statement said: “COCUS is one of the first German providers to offer an in-house developed open-RAN based 5G packet core for flexible, future-oriented and hardware-independent 5G campus private network services.”

COCUS, described as an “IT solution provider, systems integrator, and mobile expert”, is offering enterprises “end-to-end” private 5G systems, it said, including support with local spectrum licence applications, network planning and construction, and also management of enterprise-geared and industrial 5G campus networks.

Oliver Hüttig, chief executive at the firm, commented: “Airspan’s selection and the certification of our own packet core software bring momentum to the German open RAN 5G market. We are pleased to be on top and offer customers robust, flexible and, thus also, future-proofed 5G campus solutions.”

The open RAN movement has opened-up radio interfaces in telecoms gear. Instead of being limited to certain vendor equipment, for the lifetime of the network, enterprises are able to use standardised white-box hardware and software from different providers, and also to swap-out and upgrade components, as preferred. 

Moves by the Federal Network Agency (BNetzA) in Germany to release the 3.7-3.8 GHz band for local usage has spurred deployment of private networks by enterprises at the same time. These movements have also fast-tracked a broadening of the cellular ecosystem, to accommodate all manner of radio and core network providers, including the likes of Airspan Networks and Druid Software, among a number of prominent others.

In parallel, there has been gathering momentum around go-to-market strategies, to explode the supply of private networks into new sales channels, notably among IT resellers with long-standing arrangements with enterprises for the supply of Wi-Fi equipment. In particular, the opening-up and simplification of complex cellular equipment is a key aspect for these channels to grasp the nettle, and scale-up the deployment of off-the-shelf private LTE and 5G. 

A statement said: “The Open RAN approach, which is one of the core competencies of both Airspan and COCUS, now enables the necessary software and hardware components to be operated flexibly with each other in a 5G campus network. This approach provides important options for customers with regard to leveraging open interfaces for possible additions by various manufacturer components and solutions, as well as hardware solutions.”

Guiseppe Bernini, vice president of sales for Europe at Airspan Networks, said: “Providing private network solutions using 5G and Open RAN technology is becoming a large market, one for which we are prepared to provide solutions at scale. Working with partners like COCUS is helping to enhance the ecosystem, which will accelerate the adoption of Open RAN.”

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