There is fast – and there is superfast – and when it comes to mastering wireless communications in industrial settings, leaders in Industry 4.0 are investing not only in 5G generally, but in the leading-edge versions of 5G, including 5G New Radio (5G NR) protocol which is new to the market, but which has been undergoing development in support of private 5G private networks within open telecom communities, including the Small Cell Forum, O-RAN Alliance and others.
What is 5G New Radio?
5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology, and NR stands for a new radio interface and radio access technology for cellular networks—a physical connection method for radio-based communication and goes beyond other radio access technologies including Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 4G LTE. 5G NR is “industrial strength” and part of Tier One telecom’s strategies as they compete in the context of the rapidly expanding Industry 4.0 universe.
All cell phones use radio waves to facilitate communication as they convert your voice into digital signals. Internet data is sent and received via these radio waves, too.
5G NR uses two frequency ranges: frequency range 1 (FR1) includes 6 GHz frequency bands and below. Frequency band 2 (FR2) includes bands in the millimeter wavelength (or mmWave) range, which includes 20-60 GHz. That mmWave range is particularly helpful to enable 5G Ultra-Wideband (UWB).
Verizon has been a pioneer in rolling out 5G services in the U.S., and as long ago as 2015, it created the 5G Technology Forum (5GTF) to move the entire 5G ecosystem forward. The 5G Tech Forum’s technical work helped accelerate the release of the 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standard in December of 2017, contributing to the foundation for the global standard.
While the standard was released at the end of 2017, implementing NR requires a combination of hardware and software innovation to proliferate, and four years later, one of the leaders in wireless networking technologies, services, and solutions, Radisys, a company based in the U.S., and owned by Reliance Industries, last week announced the release of their 5G NR offering.
As a global leader of open telecom solutions, Radisys introduced its Release 16 compliant 5G NR protocol software, which supports low latency use cases for 5G private networks.
Radisys’ Connect RAN 5G solution, based on specifications from 3GPP, the Small Cell Forum, and the O-RAN Alliance, enables an elastic and agile 5G network tailored to meet the unique requirements of diverse 5G applications with minimized CAPEX, improved time-to-market, and shortened time-to-revenue.
The new Release 16 compliant 5G NR protocol software delivers enhancements in functionality, capacity, coverage, latency, mobility, reliability, and ease of deployment.
“We are excited to launch the new version of our Connect RAN 5G Software that is now compliant to the 3GPP Release 16 specification, and Open RAN architectures, delivering the critical reliability and ultra-low latency needed for emerging Industry 4.0 use cases,” said Munish Chhabra, SVP and General Manager, Mobility Software and Services, Radisys. “Radisys continues to deliver standards-based 5G software early to market. Working closely with our partners, we remain in lockstep with our customers’ requirements for their 5G solutions and advance the 5G ecosystem.”
Benefits of 5G NR are many, especially in industrial applications, as it enables the network to support adaptive bandwidth, with more capacity for wireless use cases, improved real-time applications given less lag time and network loss, and enhanced speed of data rates.
For example, 5G NR supports superfast machine learning and AI applications, enabling advanced innovation in automated control systems. 5G NR will make it possible, for example, to instrument distributed energy generation systems, including the traditional electrical grid and sustainable microgrids, which use wind, solar, and thermal power generation, but must be reliable, predictable, and secure.
Radisys’ Release 16 compliant protocol software unlocks the full potential of 5G NR, according to the company, by “enabling operators to monetize their networks by supporting new use cases for industry verticals.”
It delivers new features, including URLLC (Ultra-Reliable Low Latency Communications), TSN (Time Sensitive Network), NR Unlicensed, 5G Location and Positioning Services, and UE Radio Capability Signaling Optimization.
The upgraded protocol software, with new enhancements for beam management for 5G NR sub-6GHz and mmWave frequency bands, MU-MIMO, New Radio Dual Connectivity (NR-DC), Integrated Access and Backhaul (IAB), and Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS), makes possible more robust and efficient network capacity and coverage.
Radisys’ Connect RAN 5G Software recently won the Small Cell Forum Award for Outstanding Contribution to Small Cell Open RAN Platforms. The software is available pre-integrated and pre-validated on multiple industry-leading platforms to accelerate global 5G deployments.