Many areas are still not covered by 4G and 5G networks: buildings, underground car parks, factories outside cities, remote villages, etc.
Coverage of those areas can be a difficult task for telecom companies because investments are high, demand is unpredicatble and the number of users is low.
Many users are thus left with no option.
We will introduce how Rapid.Space can solve this situation in cooperation with telecom companies thanks to an all-in-one, autonomous, open source RRU and BBU with a typical cost of less than 2000€.
This presentation has three parts.
First, we introduce Rapid.Space, its founders and goals in the vRAN industry.
Second, we introduce the current state of Rapid.Space edge cloud infrastructure.
We then suggest a 18-month plan to cover all areas where 4G or 5G needs extended.
Rapid.Space may be a new name for you. We are going to present here who we are and what is our goals.
Rapid.Space was founded in 2020 by Nexedi, Amarisoft and a few VIPs of the IT and telecom inudustries.
Nexedi brings its open source stack, in particular its billing platform, its edge-cloud platform and its big data platform, all open source.
Amarisoft brings its purely software defined 4G/5G stack which covers all aspects needed for commercial deployment, including SA, NSA, NBIoT, etc.
Rapid.Space designs and distributes an open source autonomous RRH hardware.
This hardware combines in the same enclosure an Intel PC and a software define radio (SDR) board with a small amplifier (2x0.5W).
Power and TCP/IP networking are provided through Power over Ethernet.
The design of the SDR board is open source. It supports unlicensed frequencies as well as licensed frequencies (XXX).
The Intel PC runs Amarisoft stack to implement eNodeB, gNodeB, epc, etc. with a bandwidth of up to 20 MHz.
Rapid.Space autonomous RRH can be connected to the core network of a telecom company through S1 interface.
It can also run its own local core network for low latency data services. This can be very useful in a factory or for a private network.
Implementation of Rapid.Space vRAN with telecom companies is implemented under the guidance of Jérôme Nicolle, a self-taught expert with 20-year experience in telecom industry.
Jérôme understands regulatory frameworks and interfaces in order to facilitate integration with existing infrastructure of telecom operators.
Everything except VRAN in Rapid.Space is open source: software (SlapOS), hardware (OCP) and business procedures. VRAN is based on a licensed source stack which may eventually become open source at some point.
The Rapid.Space Handbook explains every aspect to build a Rapid.Space node and operate it, either as a public cloud or as a private cloud. This is a major difference with any other cloud provider which usually keep their operating process secret.
Rapid.Space team can customise any aspects of software, hardware or operation management thanks to in-house skills.
Rapid.Space infrastructure covers all continents.
Rapid.Space is available in Europe (France, Germany, Sweden, Nertherlands, Bulgaria), in mainland China in Shanxi (China Unicom, China Telecom) and in Taiwan.
Rapid.Space IPv6 backbone is based on a hybrid mesh network which relies on hundreds of routers worldwide. Thanks to babel technology (RFC 6126), all sorts of congestions can be avoided. Latency can be minized.
Rapid.Space provides HTTPS front-ends (HTTP1, HTTP2, HTTP3) in 10 different locations worldwide. In China, Rapid.Space front-ends are places on all major carriers: CT, CU and CM.
Implementing 4G and 5G everywhere can start immediately and provide initial results after 3 months.
In order to start deploying 4G/5G everywhere, some prerequisites must be considered.
A typical project with thousands of nodes costs a few million euros.
It is better to start a project after some real need has been identified: in car parks, inside building, factories, etc. In some countries, 4G/5G is already everywhere. In some other countries, many people are opposed to radio networks. A project will fail in both cases.
In some regions, unlicensed frequencies can be used. In other regions, it is necessary to obtain a commercial or an experimental license.
If we want to reuse existing SIM cards and phone numbers, it is necessary also to find a telecom company with an S1 interface. Without S1 access to a core network, a local core network can be used for data-only service.
Thanks to unlicensed frequencies, the project can start immediately. This will help understanding the problem to solve and consider constraints emerging from the field. A first demonstration can be finished within 3 months with 10 nodes.
Examples of applications include indoor coverage in buildings, in car parks, school, governement office, etc. whenever the structure of the building block radio waves. Factories in remote areas are also a good candidate for 5G low latency applications.
More examples can be found during this phase through assessment of market needs.
Licensed frequencies can be planned in parallel. This requires close collaboration with a telecom company and access to its core network through S1 interface. It is also the right time to deploy a point of presence of Rapid.Space in the same country.
This second phase of the project helps comparing the advantages of licensed and unlicensed frequencies, assess the sovereignty of all technologies involved, setup interfaces with an existing core network and prepare the scale up.
It is also the right moment to tweak some hardware specifications based on field experience.
The first deployment of 1,000 nodes takes about 6 months and includes further evaluation of hardware and software based on field experience. Cost per node at this stage is under 2000€.
Based on results of the previous phase, a batch of 10,000 nodes can be produced with even lower cost per node.
At the end of the project, buildings, car parks and factories can benefit of 4G/5G based on a cost efficient solution vRAN for low power coverage (2x0.5W max). The software and hardware solution is available and mature.
Beyond coverage extension application, Rapid.Space partners can provide high power coverage in other areas, in particular as an altenative to traditional telecom infrastructure vendors. Rapid.Space RRH partners already manufactures mature 2x40W, 4x40W and RRH models, and have capability to design 8x40W RRH.
For more information, please contact Jean-Paul, CEO of Rapid.Space (+33 629 02 44 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org).