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EETE MAR 2017

NEWS & TECHNOLOGY WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS Blu Wireless aims at edge computing for millimetre wave wireless By Nick Flaherty Blu Wireless Technology in Bristol, UK, is aiming at a new market for 5G wireless edge nodes as the result of a £10m (12m Euros) funding round led by processor designer ARM. The deal brings the total investment in the millimetre wave startup to £17m, with the company set to break even in 2018, according to CEO Henry Nurser. The company currently employs 55 staff with most from across Europe and is looking to boost that to 75 during this year. 5G will bring the need for small cell basestations with storage and compute power, connected by wireless backhaul, says Nurser. “One of the big constraints of 5G is latency,” he said. “The only way you can achieve the 1ms latency that is required is if you do computing and storage at the edge of the network so ARM’s interest is in the computing at the edge of the network. That has to be low cost and you Blu Wireless’ CEO Henry Nurser, CEO with the current generation 60GHz fixed wireless access system using BWT IP. can’t use fibre or DSL so you need to use millimetre wave wireless. The idea is that we provide the pipe and they provide the computing.” Blu Wireless and ARM will jointly market the technology. “Our investment in Blu Wireless is strategic and includes the tools and resources to enable their technology to be tested on the latest ARM IP,” said Noel Hurley, general manager, business segments group at ARM. “This will help our partners to get to market faster with mmWave-compliant products and help accelerate the rollout of 5G networks.” The first product based on the HYDRA baseband modem will sample in Q2 2017, and the company has also signed deals with five of the licensee’s system level customers. This first generation product is aimed at providing low cost wireless backhaul links for 4G and pre-5G mobile network. The company also works with six RF front end chip suppliers for certified designs at 28GHz, 60GHz (for the WiGig WiFi standard) and 95GHz. Nurser is confident that the company can attract more engineers to Bristol from Europe and the rest of the world to support the new growth area. “What we are looking for is engineers with five to ten years of experience, that’s our number one target. Around 12% of the staff are women and we would love to have more,” he said. First intercontinental 5G trial network demonstrated By SJean-Pierre Joosting K Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, and Ericsson have jointly built and demonstrated the first intercontinental 5G trial network. SK Telecom and DT network slices are now available in the other operator’s footprint – Korea and Germany are connected. A proof-of-concept has been implemented and successfully evaluated, featuring the creation and roaming extension of network slices optimized for Augmented Reality (AR) and maintenance services. The successful demonstration was hosted at Deutsche Telekom’s corporate R&D centre in Bonn, Germany and SK Telecom’s 5G Testbed at Yeongjong-do (BMW driving center), Korea. In 5G, network slicing will allow the operator to configure an end-to-end network that provides the desired overall functionality and service parameters. Federated network slicing for 5G roaming extends this concept to a visited network. This technology will make it possible for an operator to provide a network service globally, making sure that the customer does not need individual agreements with different operators for a global service experience. “5G is not just a faster network. 5G will provide extreme user experience anywhere and anytime, even when the user roams across different operators globally”, says Alex Jinsung Choi, CTO SK Telecom. “Federated network slicing will enable seamless platform sharing amongst operators at a global scale for continuous and guaranteed user experience.” A pre-requisite for federated network slicing for 5G is an enhanced cooperation model where operators open up their network to host partner services. The home and visited operators must have agreements in place that enable the recreation of a given network slice in the visited network. These agreements should cover aspects such as: network slice availability at the access layer (cellular, fixed), availability in the core network and the connection to customer application servers. The hosting of edge cloud resources by the visited network enables the execution of special business functions that demand high throughput and low latency, close to the customer in the visited network. The proof-of-concept uses federated network slicing functionality to run components of the 5G core of the home network in the visited network. The demo featured an industrial maintenance use case involving a repair worker communicating via AR with support colleagues in a visited network. The scenario uses local breakout and edge cloud to enable the best service experience in terms of latency and throughput for the AR repairman. 8 Electronic Engineering Times Europe March 2017 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE MAR 2017
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