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BAI Communications Partners with Mavenir to Deliver Sunderland’s Smart City Project

Mavenir Media Release | Jan 10, 2021

Powering a 5G network with Mavenir’s Open RAN and Packet Core


Reading and London, UK – 10th January 2022: Mavenir, the Network Software Provider building the future of networks with cloud-native software that runs on any cloud and transforms the way the world connects, today announced that BAI Communications (BAI), a global communications infrastructure provider, will be launching a Smart City project for Sunderland City Council in the north of England (UK), powered by Mavenir’s MAVedge solution.

BAI Communications will build a new 5G centric network to accelerate adoption of transformative digital services for sectors including manufacturing and logistics, education and social care. The initial scope is for the deployment of a city-centre 5G private network which has the potential to evolve and become a neutral host network.

Neutral host models provide coverage and connectivity for smart city initiatives. They enable local councils and authorities to provide smart services and run numerous smart community applications in a more viable and cost-effective manner.

MAVedge comprises Mavenir’s leading edge Open vRAN and 5G Packet Core solutions to drive the next generation digital transformation of this Smart City project, and to provide advanced 5G mobile connectivity to the local Sunderland community. MAVedge enables secure private networks to be distributed at the edge and powers a digital marketplace of applications and devices to create an efficient environment for diverse use cases for the enterprise and industry.

The 5G Open vRAN and 5G Packet Core solutions are designed with cloud-native virtualisation techniques providing a fully scalable and virtualised network architecture with open standard interfaces. The Open RAN platform provides BAI Communications the option of deploying radio units from different vendors. The solution uses software running on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware that provides cost effectiveness, flexibility and agility, whilst delivering one architecture as a baseline for many different use cases.

The new network will help accelerate transformation within various sectors in Sunderland including:

  • Smart Homes: addressing health and social care requirements supporting vulnerable individuals living in their own homes, providing access to assistive technologies such as sensors and other IoT enabled devices.
  • Digital Skills and Education: providing enhanced online and remote connectivity and distance learning across Primary Schools and Secondary Schools within the local authority.
  • Manufacturing and Industry 4.0: improving supply chain agility for the automotive industry, including applications such as self-driving vehicles and autonomous heavy goods vehicles.

“Open RAN is a cost-effective solution which is based on open interfaces and will give us the ability to deploy in a very agile and flexible way,” said Brendan O’Reilly, Group Chief Technology Officer at BAI Communications. “We are delighted to work with Mavenir, a technology innovator company in cloud-native virtualised solutions and a leading player in the Open RAN initiative and 5G Core. Technology we believe will help accelerate Sunderland’s ambitions to become one of the UK’s most advanced smart cities, connecting people, communities and businesses”.

“BAI Communications represents an ideal partner for this prestigious smart city project in Sunderland. Together we will be able to build new RAN and Packet Core domains, that will deliver the flexibility needed for a diverse set of cross-sector use cases. Virtualised solutions from Mavenir are the perfect choice of technology with Open vRAN and Cloud-Native Packet Core. The objective is to automate operations and flex the scalability in neutral hosting architecture, whilst delivering benefits not only to enterprises and business users, but also for the wider community”, said Stefano Cantarelli, Chief Marketing Officer at Mavenir.

“We are creating a new digital fabric for Sunderland’s City, upon which the City’s digital and business entrepreneurs can build – a portfolio of new digital services for the benefits of residents, businesses and visitors”, says Andrew Conway, Director of Solutions and Innovation at BAI Communications UK.

Liz St Louis, Assistant Director of Smart Cities at Sunderland City Council, said, “We have long recognised the importance of technology in connecting people and realising opportunities to position Sunderland as a digital frontrunner. This new partnership between BAI Communications and Mavenir presents a fully scalable network architecture to unlock innovation and shape the future of our leading smart city.

“Together we are harnessing the power of technology and digital transformation for the benefit of residents, businesses and visitors to Sunderland. The new network will accelerate the emergence of more smart services including community applications, digital upskilling opportunities and efficiency drives for our advanced manufacturing clusters across the city.”

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