‘Smart Sunderland’ to deploy data platform & O-RAN architecture

Sunderland City Council has announced new deals with Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) provider Mavenir and Internet of Things platform Connexin as part of its ambitious goal to become “the UK’s most advanced smart city”.

Mavenir’s MAVedge solution that runs on a cloud will support BAI Communications’ deployment of a city-centre 5G private network which has the potential to evolve and become a neutral host network. Last year, BAI agreed to build a new private 5G small cell network to “accelerate adoption of transformative digital services for sectors including manufacturing and logistics, education and social care” as part of a 20-year strategic partnership with the council.

The MAVedge system comprises 5G O-RAN and 5G Packet Core solutions to provide advanced 5G mobile connectivity to the local Sunderland community. The O-RAN platform provides BAI Communications the option of deploying radio units from different vendors using software running on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware.

According to the council, the new network will specifically provide support to projects including providing access to assistive technologies for Smart Homes including sensors and IoT enabled devices; providing enhanced online and remote connectivity and distance learning across schools in the Wearside area; self-driving vehicles and autonomous heavy goods vehicles.

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