Vilicom and Mavenir team up on ‘UK-first’ open-RAN private LTE for offshore windfarm
UK-based cellular system integrator Vilicom has selected Mavenir to provide a private LTE network based on open RAN architecture for an off-shore wind farm in Scotland. The project is the first of its kind in the UK, the supplier companies said, combining open RAN in an off-shore private network.
Texas-based Mavenir, which this week also announced a deal to acquire communications platform provider Telestax for an undisclosed fee, said its virtualised (software-based) MAVair open RAN platform, working with commoditised radio hardware, will form the basis of a new LTE connectivity platform for sea vessels and workers within the boundaries of the Moray East offshore wind-farm project, off the coast of Scotland.
The Moray East wind farm is projected to deliver approximately 40 percent of the total electricity demand in Scotland, said Mavenir, powering the equivalent of up to 950,000 homes (out of 2.64 million dwellings in Scotland). The new private LTE network will also allow workers to be in touch on a regular basis through video calls and emails whilst they are at sea.
The MAVair product, designed with “cloud-native virtualisation techniques”, enables the RAN to flex and adapt based on usage and coverage, said Mavenir. is in charge of the contract with Moray East, and has designed the overall solution. The Reading-based consultancy and system integrator sells indoor and outdoor cellular systems. It claims to serve “some of the biggest (and, indeed, the smallest) technology-driven companies in the world”.
Sean Keating, chief executive at Vilicom, said: “Building efficiencies into the construction and operations of a wind-farm is a challenge without superfast and reliable connectivity. Vilicom will provide network connectivity to all project operating sea vessels and provides functionality that enables communication not only between workers at sea but also communication back home and for use in leisure time.”
Stefano Cantarelli, chief marketing officer at Mavenir, said: “Mavenir is delighted to partner with Vilicom for this important and complex private network system. Private networks are increasingly becoming more prevalent and we look forward to collaborating with Vilicom to develop further such use cases and applications. This project highlights the relevance and importance of advanced communications in a real application scenario.”
Meanwhile, Mavenir’s purchase of CPaaS enablement and application provider Telestax, based down the road from Mavenir in Austin in the US, will enhance its own Engage portfolio of messaging monetization and customer engagement offerings, and enable its service provider customers to leverage nimbler software-as-a-service (SaaS) service models to better compete in the new digital economy, it said.
Pardeep Kohli, president and chief executive at Mavenir, commented: “Communication platforms are becoming a key differentiator for service providers. They will unlock enterprise value in 5G with API enablement for different verticals such as IoT, smart cities, automotive and provide turnkey applications for logistics, fleet management, AI/ML chatbots, voice biometrics verification, immersive commerce/entertainment and many other use cases.”
451 Research calculates the total revenue for the CPaaS market increased by over 40 percent to $6.5 billion in 2020, and will account for roughly $21 billion in 2025, rising at a compound growth rate of 26 percent in the year between.
In a supplied quote, Raúl Castañón-Martínez, senior analyst at 451 Research, said: “The early definition of CPaaS in terms of PSTN connectivity has been augmented to include a much broader range of services. Vendors that provide the full communication service stack – including the API layer and network infrastructure – have a competitive advantage from those focused on the API layer and partnerships to provide access to the network layer.”