Home5GSiticom taps Nokia, beats carriers to private 5G contract for WISTA science park in Berlin

Siticom taps Nokia, beats carriers to private 5G contract for WISTA science park in Berlin

German system integrator (SI) Siticom has secured a contract to deploy a private 5G network at the WISTA Science and Technology Park in Berlin-Adlershof in Germany. Siticom is working with Nokia on the project; it beat at least two of the three major mobile operators in Germany to the contract.

The WISTA (Wissenschafts und Wirtschaftsstandort, or ‘science and business park’) at Adlershof, in the Treptow-Köpenick borough of Berlin, the largest science park in Germany, covering 4.2 square kilometres, and home to the new City of Science, Technology and Media. Siticom, which is working variously elsewhere with Druid Software and Airspan Networks for supply of private 5G core and RAN solutions, selected Nokia for the installation.

Siticom has been at the head of the SI drive on private 5G in the Industrie 4.0 market in Germany, following the government’s move to lease 3.7-3.8 GHz ‘vertical’ spectrum direct to enterprises. It has a deal for a private standalone (SA) 5G at the Fraunhofer Institute for Integrated Circuits (IIS), among others. The firm has been bundling Airspan and Druid 5G products for enterprises; its work with Nokia appears to be new.

The company, established in 2010, had waited until the release of ‘vertical’ spectrum and the availability of 5G SA network technology to offer private cellular to enterprises. In conversation with Enterprise IoT Insights (to be published next week), it admitted some frustration at the suitability of 5G in its current format (mostly Release 15, some Release 16 functions, with serious industrial-grade Release 17 tech some years away still) for Industry 4.0.

It also aired concerns with Enterprise IoT Insights about the slow availability of smart devices on private networks in regional spectrum bands. Siticom was acquired by UK-based IT solutions and services provider Logicalis in June. Logicalis called Siticom “a leading player in the SDN and 5G market, as an expert in communication networks and campus network solutions”. The deal delivers on its plan for a “pan-EMEA centre-of-expertise in advanced 5G” it said.

Siticom has 130 staff across five office locations in Germany (in Weiterstadt, Cologne, Munich, Bruchsal, Dresden) and five competence centres (in Hamburg, Berlin, Ratingen, Stuttgart, Wolgast). Logicalis is owned by Johannesburg-based group Datatec. Siticom will work with its new parent on the WISTA installation, set to open by Christmas. The new project will include a ‘5G innovation showroom’, to be opened some time in 2022.

A statement said: “Interested parties can experience the new 5G technology live on site and develop and test their own use cases. WISTA Management will provide a basic version of the network free of charge, while Logicalis and… Siticom will be responsible for customer-specific adaptations, integration and operation.”

Roland Sillmann, managing director at WISTA Management, said: “Our task is to provide the companies in the Adlershof Science and Technology Park with the framework conditions for their economic growth. This also includes looking at what companies will need in a few years. 5G will bring a boost, and that’s why it’s so important that we offer an environment to test and develop them further to companies already working on their 5G applications.”

He added: “5G will enable applications that we don’t even know about today. But most importantly, 5G will rapidly advance the Internet of Things, driving Industry 4.0.”

Wilhelm Prasser, responsible for the project on the Logicalis / Siticom side, said: “The advantage of such a closed network is that, compared to a public network, only a few users share the available bandwidth, it is more secure and robust and can be tailored to individual needs. Innovative ideas and business models can thus be tried out and tested under clearly definable conditions.”

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