Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, Qualcomm issue tech blueprints to spur private 5G
MFA, formerly the MulteFire Alliance, has released a set of ‘technology blueprints’ for industrial 5G networks and devices to help enterprise users, device makers, and application developers select key 3GPP features for their specific 5G private network deployments and solutions. The new work was announced six months ago, as the old MulteFire Alliance rebranded and shifted away from its original technical remit around unlicensed LTE to focus on the broader industrial cellular market, cutting across various (locally) licensed, shared, and unlicensed bands.
The new blueprints set out to reveal an industrial 5G matrix that plots cellular features against use case characteristics, and makes cellular-based solutions simpler to specify. It has released an initial set of three blueprints for enterprise deployments of unified (licensed and unlicensed) 5G, branded as Uni5G, to guide industry verticals and enterprises on the key functionalities to implement from 3GPP Release 15 to meet their specific requirements for coverage and reliability, connection density, and latency.
A statement said: “By focusing and implementing selected features from the Uni5G blueprint families, industry verticals can simplify their path to 5G private networks… For example, if a shipping port requires reliability and coverage, it can leverage the Uni5G blueprint to understand which features from Release 15 that it needs to implement for either a basic device or an advanced device. MFA will continue to evolve the Uni5G Technology Blueprints to stay in step with 3GPP releases.”
The MFA board includes Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, and Qualcomm.
Mazen Chmaytelli, president at MFA, said: “There is a growing trend for industry verticals… to deploy private 4G and 5G networks to gain the benefits of increased automation and digitalization. However, these industry verticals are not telecom experts and may not know where to start. By creating the Uni5G blueprints that map the 3GPP features they need for the functionality they want, MFA is providing a valuable tool for these industry verticals to share with device and equipment manufacturers to obtain the features that are required to fulfill their objectives.”
Stephan Litjens, vice president of enterprise solutions in Nokia’s cloud and networking services division, said: “Successful adoption of private 5G by industry is dependent on the healthy growth of the 5G device ecosystem and automation enablers. Through its pioneering work on Uni5G blueprints, MFA is providing industry with clear guidance on how to achieve this. Uni5G blueprints will be an invaluable tool for verticals and industry players to identify what key features are necessary to optimize and enhance industrial applications that facilitate automation goals.”
Caroline Chan, vice president of Intel’s network and edge group, and general manager of its network business incubation division, said: “This is an important and timely contribution to the global scaling of private network solutions across a range of sectors. These blueprints, when implemented on Intel’s proven FlexRAN reference architecture and Intel Xeon processors, can help enterprises simplify the path to deploy key features for their 5G private networks.”
Edward Tiedemann, senior vice president of engineering at Qualcomm, said: “The emergence of 5G private networks is opening up exciting new opportunities for verticals to connect various equipment. It is great to see MFA putting in place critical support to demystify the process of deploying 5G private networks—first with the network identifier program and now with blueprints that will help the ecosystem align on requirements for different 5G private network use cases.”