08/27/2021 – The University of Kaiserslautern has implemented a cutting edge 5G O-RAN campus network environment for indoor and outdoor coverage as part of the 5G research project in Kaiserslautern. The project is also funded by the BMVI as part of the 5G research initiative.
With the Chair for Radio Communication and Navigation at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) and other partners from industry and research, 5G applications are planned and tested that serve technology-oriented research. In the course of a public procurement procedure, MUGLER AG was awarded the contract for a sub-project of the 5G research project in Kaiserslautern. MUGLER planned and implemented the 5G campus network for the smart factory and other demonstration systems for future production in the DFKI. TU Kaiserslautern will evaluate and test the 5G networking concepts for production and intralogistics in close cooperation with the DFKI and the Smart Factory KL eV. The end to end 5G O-RAN private network is provided and supported by Druid’s expert systems integrator MUGLER.
The head of the 5G research initiative in Kaiserslautern, Professor Hans Schotten, explains: “Open RAN-based networks are currently attracting great interest in industry, as the integration of application-specific functions and, in particular, AI functionality for the automated optimization of networks, but also application performance is particularly important in this 5G network technology. “We want to test these possibilities here. Another goal is to set up a manufacturer-independent demonstration and evaluation platform with which the interoperability of the solutions from different manufacturers can also be verified.” Stefan Richter, Head of Campus Networks at MUGLER AG, adds: “With the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, we have already taken the path to implementing a multi-vendor concept for 5G standalone networks.”
MUGLER implemented the construction of the 5G campus network with two key 5G cellular network equipment providers, Druid Software and Airspan Networks. The Mugler partners have already implemented a large number of 5G and 4G, LTE local private networks internationally. Druid Software is an independent, market leading software manufacturer with a focus on core networks for private cellular networks. The advantages of Druid’s 5G Raemis platform are many, such as it’s open architecture, ease of integration and scalability. The guaranteed QoS (Quality of Service) and low latency the Raemis platform provides with its “enterprise slicing” feature is another key benefit on this project. The Raemis platform is ideally suited for 5G test beds like this to support the latest industrial automation use cases,” commented Tadhg Kenny, at Druid Software on the announcement.
As the supplier for the radio access network, the US company Airspan Networks is contributing its OpenRANGE solution to the project. Airspan’s solution includes the Air Velocity 2700, a Split 7.2 “Indoor” radio, as well as the CU and DU virtual software, all of which are based on O-RAN and 3GPP standards. One of the reasons for the cooperation on the part of TUK and MUGLER is the advantage that OpenRANGE is based on a virtualized network environment in which the baseband is completely implemented by software and can be used in conjunction with standard server hardware (COTS). In addition to the 3GPP-specified Split 2 interface (DU-CU), the Open RAN Split 7.2A (DU-RU) is also implemented. This creates an important basis for the network infrastructure to ensure interoperability, To achieve flexibility and diversity in the selection of components. Giuseppe Bernini, Vice President Sales Europe of Airspan Networks adds: “We are firmly convinced that 5G Open RAN is the pioneer for further innovations in the area of production and intralogistics in intelligent factories. We are pleased to bring our OpenRANGE solution to this revolutionary private network at the TU Kaiserslautern. “