Rapid.Space produces an autonomous base station ideal for private networks. More information can be found here:
The key advantages of ORS vs. other products are:
- all-in-one solution with a single box acting as eNb/gNb, core network, OSS/BSS, edge cloud node, etc.;
- ability to deliver both 4G and/or 5G on a single frequency (ex. 2.6 GHz, 3.7 GHz) with a bandwidth of 40 MHz shared between 4G/5G (ex. 10 + 30) or DSS;
- local core network for local UEs that require low latency or resiliency in case of back-haul downtime (and remote core network for public network or corporate network);
- distributed core network for applications that require high resiliency (no single point of failure);
- ability to deploy local edge services (CDN, IoT gateway, PLC, etc.).
ORS can support all "coverage extension" use cases. However, for "pure coverage extension", there could be cheaper options based on specialized chipset rather than vRAN. Make sure however that they really work, since many products that claim to support 5G actually do not. Make also sure that those alternatives are flexible enough.
ORS excells and has possibly no equivalent whenever a local core network is required. This use case if typical of private networks where ORS acts either as an alternative or as a complement to public core network.
- Industry 4.0: a single radio network for data (IoT), voice (local VoLTE), push-to-talk (PTT) and coverage extension of public network;
- Hospital: a single network for data (tables), voice (local VoLTE), push-to-talk (PTT) and coverage extension of public network;
- Hotels: a single network for data (tables), voice (local VoLTE), push-to-talk (PTT) and coverage extension of public network;
- Mines: a single network for data (tables), voice (local VoLTE), push-to-talk (PTT);
- Government buildings: a single network for data (tables), voice (local VoLTE), push-to-talk (PTT) and coverage extension of public network;
- Military vehicles: on-board 4G/5G base station for data, voice and push-to-talk;
- Military ships: on-board 4G/5G base station for data, voice, push-to-talk and ;
- Commercial ships: digital emptying of all machinery by placing an ORS on the ship and 5G UE at the port, then downloading all data over 5G (the reverse would not be fast enough);
- Drones: carrying an ORS to delivery a local 4G/5G network for disaster relief.
The global market for private networks can be extrapolated to 3,000,000 base stations by 2025 (see "Private 5G Network Market Size, Share & Trends Analysis Report By Component (Hardware, Software, Services), By Frequency (Sub-6 GHz, mmWave), By Spectrum, By Vertical, By Region, And Segment Forecasts, 2022 - 2030").
In regions such as France, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, etc. telecommunication regulators have granted licenses for private spectrum:
- B38/N41 (France);
- B43/N78 (Germany);
- B39 and N79 (Japan);
- N79 (Taiwan).
As a result, companies such as Rapid.Space are able to sell directly private network base stations such as the ORS. Spectrum reservation is achieved through an online portal with online payment. Nothing could be easier. For B39 in Japan, SXGP standard defines a way to share spectrum without reservation: it is just as simple as turning on a Wifi base station.
This is however impossible in regions such as China, Ivory Coast, Sénégal, Vietnam, etc. where spectrum for private networks is unavailable, either due to political or economic reasons. The lack of private networking in those regions increases the risk of digital divide and slows down economic development (see "Why Unlicensed Spectrum Networks Are The Key to Innovation").
Recommendations for telecommunication operators
With products such as the ORS, private 5G networks based on vRAN technology are much faster and easier to deploy than public 5G networks on vRAN technology. Private 5G vRAN is also a great playground to prepare the deployment of public 5G vRAN.
We thus recommend all telecommunication operators to start deploying immediately private 5G vRAN based on ORS or similar products. Deployment can use existing licensed spectrum for 4G (ex. B38, B43) or dedicated 5G spectrum (ex. N78). ORS can be operated with a local core network (epc, 5gc) and/or connected to the operator's core network (epc, 5gc). Depending on the SIM card configuration, local or remote core network will be used. Local core network is ideal for low latency applications and resiliency. Remote core network is ideal for mobility.
Deploying ORS is a quick win for telecommunication operators. It brings four benefits:
- address the market for private 5G and high resiliency immediately (and contain competition from cloud operators or OEM vendors);
- gain hands-on experience on vRAN operation and interoperability (by connecting ORS to public core network);
- try and test low latency edge services based on 5G.
All those benefits can be obtained in a matter of months without any risk and without the strict planning required for a public 5G vRAN deployment.
The ORS produced in Europe costs 3,500€ and is available immediately. This cost includes everything: hardware, eNb/gNb, epc, 5gc, IMS, OSS/BSS, edge services, etc.
Rapid.Space offers an "all-in-one" licensing package to manufacture the ORS in other countries. The package includes:
- ORS design (PCB, BOM, etc.);
- Amarisoft stack (eNb/gNb, epc, 5gc, IMS, etc.);
- OSS/BSS to manage ORS fleets and deploy edge services.
This package costs less than 500€ per item for large quantities.