SONIC Labs establishes new partnerships with leading Taiwanese innovators to drive Open RAN innovation and investment forwardPosted 14 Sep 2023
- Seven companies join SONIC Labs to test performance and evaluate indoor and outdoor Open RAN products
- Companies will gain access to Digital Catapult’s leading Open RAN testing facilities opened earlier this year
- SONIC Labs aims to diversify the telecoms supply chain by helping Open RAN vendors to the UK market
Digital Catapult, working in partnership with Ofcom, has today welcomed seven pioneering new companies to its SONIC Labs (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) programme, funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT).
SONIC Labs is a world-leading programme driving forward the rollout of a new wireless communication technology known as Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN), enabling mobile networks to be built using a variety of different equipment suppliers. Its approach has put the UK at the forefront of telecoms innovation globally, and has generated interest from global companies looking to participate.
G REIGNS and LITEON are two of the new companies with full suites of pioneering Open RAN products that will be joining this phase of the programme. These Taiwanese-based companies will benefit from closer international collaboration and will be joined by other leading companies in the Open RAN space, including Accelleran, Benetel, Capgemini IS-Wireless and WNC. Taiwan is home to world-leading Open RAN innovation, given its advanced R&D capabilities and commitment to developing scalable Open RAN solutions.
All companies will participate in the next activity of SONIC Labs, a technical programme running to January 2024. The programme will look to accelerate the technology development of Open RAN products, and expand the scope of the participating companies’ operations through access to Digital Catapult’s SONIC Labs facilities and ongoing technical support and expertise.
The focus of the technical activity covers multiple baselines and swaps, with the aim to test the performance and scalability of O-RAN components with multi vendor solutions and multiple units. Seamless mobility while moving from one location which is closer to one radio unit (RU) to another location which is closer to another RU will also be tested, while accessing some video streaming and verifying the quality of experience during this mobility. This will enable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to be measured to enable commercial deployability. The companies will also test the interoperability and end-to-end functional testing of outdoor Open RAN products in the SONIC Labs indoor testing environment.
Multiple vendors are already carrying out end-to-end Interoperability, performance and scalability testing in the dedicated purpose built space with state of the art testing and lab infrastructure. So far, twenty vendors and fifty nine Open RAN products have collaborated with SONIC Labs, signifying the largest concentration of Open RAN vendors coming together to collaborate in a commercially neutral environment in the UK.
We’re delighted to be introducing additional Open RAN products from vendors across the globe to this phase of the SONIC Labs programme. We’ll be extending our leading technical expertise and lab facilities to help these nine companies to test their Open RAN products and solutions and support them on their route to market.
“Through our SONIC Labs programme we’re helping to foster innovation across the telecoms sector – diversifying the 5G supply chain market in the UK and delivering fast, secure and reliable connectivity.”Joe Butler Chief Technology Officer at Digital Catapult
Our £15m investment in SONIC Labs is providing a test bed for telecoms innovation on a global scale, helping to bring cutting-edge wireless technology to the UK market and provide fast, secure, and dependable connectivity across the country.
“By creating a diverse and collaborative environment where different companies can trial their products, we’re ensuring that our 5G supply chain remains robust and fit for the future.”Sir John Whittingdale Minister for Data and Digital Infrastructure
The SONIC Labs project continues to go from strength to strength, with eight additional companies having the opportunity to test and develop innovative technology that could be pivotal to future telecoms networks. This will build on the important insights already gained from the project, which is helping to inform how Open RAN technology can be an important part of the telecoms supply chains of the future.”Lindsey Fussell Group Director, Networks & Communications at Ofcom
We are proud that as an O-CU/O-DU software supplier, our exceptional performance in Taiwan and the United States has solidified our global reputation as a trusted partner in the field. In our continuous pursuit of innovation and expansion, we are thrilled to be a part of the prestigious SONIC Lab programme.
“This unique opportunity allows us to showcase our unrivalled integration capabilities and demonstrate the cutting-edge potential of our 5G gNB technology to the European market, particularly important for the future of immersive technology in enterprise. Through rigorous interoperability testing with SONIC Labs, we aim to validate our solutions and set new benchmarks in the industry.”Adrian Tung General Manager at G REIGNS
LITEON is excited to collaborate with Digital Catapult and SONIC Labs, showcasing our extensive expertise in Open RAN architecture, software, and hardware integration. Since 2020, LITEON Technology has launched 5G/AIoT as one of its critical new businesses. Our success at the Small Cell Forum Summit Award 2023 and PoC with some EU operators, have positioned LITEON for significant progress in the UK and EU markets. We are excited to work alongside O-RAN partners in cohort four of the programme, delivering complete and highly flexible private network solutions. Our goal is to offer enterprise private network users a cutting-edge experience that is both speedy and energy efficient.”Sander Su Networking General Manager at LITEON
Notes to Editors
Alongside access to Digital Catapult’s advanced facilities and technical support, participants will also have the opportunity to take part in thought-leadership events throughout and beyond the six-month technical programme and will benefit from networking opportunities and targeted innovation activities to accelerate their route to commercialisation.
Participating companies in this phase of the SONIC Labs programme include:
Headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, Accelleran is an Open RAN pioneer, with software solutions enabling a diverse multi-vendor RAN ecosystem that creates greater flexibility, efficiency and reduced costs for operators and private networks. Accelleran brings the dRAX™ platform, which includes the Cloud Native CU, RAN intelligent Controller (RIC) developer platform and systems integration capabilities to the SONIC Labs programme. For more information visit accelleran.com
Benetel is a pioneering 5G radio company that leads the telecommunications industry with cutting-edge solutions. Committed to innovation, the Irish company delivers European designed and manufactured, high-performance, reliable 5G radio hardware for disaggregated Open RAN networks. For more information, visit Benetel.com
Capgemini is a global leader in partnering with companies to transform and manage their business by harnessing the power of technology. Capgemini will bring its global innovation expertise to the programme by leveraging its 5G portfolio capabilities, specifically its RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller) solution along with its xApps and rApps expertise. This technology is essential for developing innovative 5G use cases that can optimise RAN functioning and automate operations over radio access networks. For more information visit capgemini.com
IS-Wireless is a company based in Poland, specialising in the development of software-defined 4G and 5G mobile networks. The company has been recognised as one of a few European RAN vendors by leading telco operators in their November 2021 report “Building an Open RAN Ecosystem for Europe.” IS-Wireless is contributing to this phase of the SONIC Labs programme by bringing the Near -Real Time RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller). For more information visit is-wireless.com
Founded in 1975, LITEON is a world-leading provider of opto-semiconductor, power supply management, and 5G solutions with global operations based in Taiwan. LITON’S 5G solution, dedicated to the mobile private network (MPN), offers Taiwan-designed and manufactured products, including O-RAN sub-6 and mmWave radio units and EMS/RIC platforms to customers worldwide, delivering value through its global supply chain management. For more information liteon.com
G REIGNS is a subsidiary 100% belongs to HTC from Taiwan. G REIGNS focuses in private 5G network using 5G O-RAN SA architecture, devoted to provide the optimised vRAN software solution, all in one standard portable turn key solution and project based scalable enterprise solutions for worldwide. G REIGNS will bring its Centralised Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU) products, as well as the role as System Integrator to the SONIC Labs programme. For more information visit reignnet.com
Wistron NeWeb Corporation (WNC) specialises in short/mid/long-range communications technologies and provides solutions in network communications, network infrastructure, smart home and advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS). WNC will bring its R1220 series radio unit (RU) to the SONIC Labs programme. For more information visit wnc.com.tw
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