Leading wireless advisory firm brings expertise to UK government-supported project assessing 5G and connected and autonomous vehicles

Real Wireless, the world’s leading independent wireless advisory firm, has announced its participation in AutoAir, one of the most ambitious, and potentially most important, projects in the development of development of 5G to enable innovation in the UK’s transportation networks.

By developing a neutral host-based small cell solution for transportation networks in the UK, AutoAir aims to accelerate the development and deployment of both 5G and Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs). The project will also investigate how these 5G connectivity solutions could be transferable to both road and rail transportation.

Real Wireless is part of a consortium chosen by the UK’s Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) to deliver a small cell 5G testbed for CAVs. AutoAir is one of six UK-wide testbeds aiming to test 5G across a range of applications as part of the UK’s £25 million 5G digital strategy.

Fast travel speeds complicate cell-tower handoff, and autonomous vehicles will require more network bandwidth than is available currently. AutoAir will attempt to address this challenge. To this end, 5G technologies will be made available for the validation and development of CAVs at the UK’s premiere vehicle technology proving ground at Millbrook.

Real Wireless will be involved in the whole project, from the strategic network planning at the start to assessing trials data and delivering insights into techno-economic impacts.

Real Wireless Chief Technology Officer, Simon Fletcher said: “One of the attractions of the project is the exciting opportunity it offers to look at what can – and cannot – be done when neutral host approaches are applied to vehicles travelling at speeds. There are real challenges for the UK around improvements in transport corridors, coverage and capacity and the viability of innovations. We hope to find synergies across road and rail, addressing common issues through the technological and economic insights we will gain from our modelling activities.”

AutoAir is based on the accelerated development of 5G small cells operating in both licensed Sub 6 GHz and mmWave bands on a shared neutral host platform, which allows multiple public and private 5G operators to simultaneously use the same infrastructure through a process known as network slicing.

The neutral host component of the project is especially important. Opening up 5G and transport connectivity to small cells operating on a neutral host basis could dramatically improve the economics of 5G.

Real Wireless brings to this project the deep technology, business, market and economics experience that have made it the only firm to bridge the gap between the wireless industry and wireless users.

In particular, it has strong experience in working with testbeds in a number of projects across Europe, notably as part of the 5G MoNArch (5G Mobile Network Architecture) consortium and the 5G NORMA consortium, a Europe-wide project looking at developing a virtualised, flexible 5G network architecture to support network slicing.

The AutoAir project brings together a large number of the telecommunications industry’s leading 5G players under the leadership of 4G and 5G RAN solution provider Airspan, and the pioneering research at Surrey University’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC).

In addition to Airspan, 5GIC, Millbrook and Real Wireless, the project consortium includes: Dense Air Limited (wholesale wireless networks), McLaren Applied Technologies (technology and design), Blu Wireless Technology Limited (mmWave products), Quortus Limited (virtualized mobile core solutions), ARM (chip-based device architectures), Cobham Wireless (wireless coverage solutions), and Celestia Technologies (development of high technology products).

Alongside its participation in the 5G MoNArch and the 5G NORMA consortia, work on the AutoAir project confirms Real Wireless as a leading international advisor in the development of 5G.

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