Cisco, JTower, Mitsui Knowledge Industry (MKI), and Airspan Networks have deployed a local 5G Open RAN environment for in-building infrastructure sharing. The deployment is built with Cisco Private 5G, JTower’s Local 5G in-building infrastructure sharing system, Airspan’s 5G vRAN (software and hardware) and MKI’s construction and testing acumen. 

The companies collaborated to promote local 5G infrastructure sharing in Japan. According to Airspan, this collaboration showcases the interoperability between technology providers using Open RAN base stations to deploy local 5G. Currently, enterprises and local government entities must build their own networks, resulting in capital investment and operational deployment barriers, Airspan added. 

This new approach is expected to enable network sharing in large-scale buildings, factories and underground spaces by using local 5G-compatible optical relay Distributed Antenna System (DAS). The DAS converts radio waves from base stations into digital signals and distributes them via optical cables. In addition, some facility networks can be shared by mobile operators and multiple local 5G service providers. 

Cisco Private 5G is hybrid cloud-based and it is designed to enable local 5G networks. It is available as-a-service and has neutral host multi-tenancy capability that accommodates multiple local 5G service providers. JTower’s local 5G shared system is expected to enable network sharing by using a local 5G-compatible optical relay DAS. Airspan’s Open RAN design provides the Radio Unit (RU), Distributed Unit (DU), and Central Unit (CU) that make up a 5G base station in a single chassis. MKI is responsible for the construction and testing of the 5G wireless environment. 

Based on the success of the trial, the companies plan to promote infrastructure sharing of local 5G facilities that creates new connectivity opportunities for businesses and government entities.

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