Celona claims O-RAN compliant private 5G, inks investment deal for federal 5G systems
California-based private LTE/5G startup Celona is the first company to implement the O-RAN Alliance’s specifications for open radio access network (open RAN) software in private 5G enterprise networks, it has said. Celona said its O-RAN-compliant capabilities, newly certified, confirm its so-called ‘edgeless’ 5G architecture affords enterprises a way to run RAN and RAN intelligent controller (RIC) functions within its private 5G core software.
In parallel, the company has announced a partnership and investment agreement with US venture firm In-Q-Tel, which invests in start-ups providing tech for US intelligence services. The deal with In-Q-Tel will see Celona provide US intelligence and national security agencies with private 5G technologies, it said. The size of the investment was undisclosed. The deal signals rising interest from US agencies such as the CIA, FBI, and NSA in private 5G, it said.
Brinda Jadeja, senior partner for investments at In-Q-Tel, said: “Celona’s software-defined networking solution enables enterprises to set up and manage their own private 5G and LTE cellular networks for secure communications. Its solution is designed to make it easy to deploy secure wireless connectivity, making it well suited for deployment in the varied operating environments of the US intelligence and national security communities.”
Celona is providing the key LTE/5G componentry in NTT’s new P5G private cellular as-a-service platform bundle, it was revealed last month. The company provides a core LTE/5G stack for ‘edgeless’ private network deployments, which can be run and managed on sundry common edge and cloud platforms. The package comprises network analytics, management, and control functions to allocate and automate services for industrial applications.
Celona claims a dedicated “express lane” for mission-critical business applications. Its new O-RAN support provides additional integration and flexibility to meet enterprise application requirements for network performance, including bandwidth, capacity, and latency. The company claims to offer different RAN split options within a single 5G Radio hardware access point using standard interfaces defined by 3GPP, the ORAN Alliance, and Small Cell Forum.
Mehmet Yavuz, co-founder and chief technology officer at Celona, said: “Instead of force-fitting traditional telco architecture to enterprise environments, Celona’s O-RAN solution is designed with enterprise network architectures and use cases in mind. A converged 5G core that orchestrates multi-RAN technologies and integrates enterprise switching fabric, SD-WAN, and vital network services [is] the right solution [for] proper end-to-end SLA management.”
He added: “While there will be cases where large-scale enterprises and managed service provider deployments require the virtualization of the RAN and native integration with mobile operator core networks, we believe most enterprises will want a fully integrated approach with the flexibility to change their deployment model as the business evolves. We are delivering both options.”
A statement from the firm said: “Unlike other networking technologies, 5G embraces a service-based core network architecture with a cloud native software stack. This allows traditional monolithic network services to be broken into modular and stateless network functions that meet specific SLA requirements for a variety of applications in a scalable and flexible manner.
“Celona is now applying similar techniques to the 5G RAN by virtualizing the RAN functions using standard interface defined by 3GPP, ORAN Alliance, and Small Cell Forum. Celona’s O-RAN capabilities allow enterprises to create an avenue for introducing advanced RAN features and capabilities beyond the standard centralized feature sets by leveraging a programmable open-software development approach.”
It continued: “To make the promise of 5G a reality, enterprises need a practical solution that is scalable [and] cost-effective… With Celona’s O-RAN support, virtualized functions, such as signaling and data packet processing, MAC layer packet scheduling, protocol conversion, and encryption, can be pooled with the ability to dynamically allocate different resources efficiently and effectively. This helps organizations migrate to an on-demand enterprise architecture that fits the needs of constantly changing applications while embracing the enterprise 5G revolution.”