A consortium of Japanese organisations including Fujitsu and the University of Tokyo developed open source software for private 5G networks, claiming to domestically produce a low-cost core which brings down the cost of private infrastructure.

The initiative is part of New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organisation’s (NEDO) post-5G project which ran for two years starting in October 2020.

NEDO works in parallel with funding agencies to subsidise R&D costs via a co-funding programme.

The other partners are Internet Initiative Japan and Apresia Systems.

Fujitsu noted in a statement the group expects the deployment of the lower-cost open source technology will lead to wider adoption by various industries, suggesting that combining multiple private networks and 5G services provided by telecoms operators will “ultimately make it possible to deliver more versatile communication environments than individual private 5G networks alone”.

The project developed a compact 5G core designed for small-scale networks, keeping costs down by running on cloud-based, commercial off-the-self equipment.

By using open source software, it also reduces intellectual property costs.

The University of Tokyo contributed a user plane function which handles advanced data transfer and route selection.

Fujitsu and Apresia Systems will release private 5G networks combining the core technology with their base stations and terminal equipment.

Internet Initiative Japan will promote the development of services using multiple private 5G networks running on the new core and public networks it will offer as an MVNO through roaming.

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