AutoAir to Deliver a Small Cell 5G Testbed for Connected and Autonomous Vehicles in the UK

Airspan Networks has announced its lead role in the “AutoAir” consortium, a neutral host based small cell solution for transportation networks in the UK. AutoAir is an ambitious project that will accelerate the development and deployment of two key technologies in the UK, namely 5G and CAVs (Connected and Autonomous Vehicles).

The AutoAir project brings together a large number of leading 5G players and the pioneering research at Surrey University’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC). The project consortium includes; 5GIC at Surrey University, Dense Air Limited, McLaren Applied Technologies, Blu Wireless Technology Limited, Quortus Limited, Millbrook, Real Wireless, ARM, Cobham Wireless, and Celestia Technologies.

The initial application will focus on delivering pervasive 5G connectivity at the Millbrook Proving Ground that will enable CAV developers and research companies to accelerate their testing. The network will operate at Millbrook and allow access to existing Mobile Operators on a shared / neutral host basis.

The importance of Neutral Host architectures was recently underscored in a report on Connected Trains & Customer Communications from the Rail Safety and Standards Board in January 2018 where they said: “Sharing infrastructure is seen as an obvious way that operators can reduce costs while differentiating based on service. Independent providers of infrastructure have a key role to play in making this possible. Network Rail’s existing mast infrastructure could be added to the pool of available sites, with tenants generating (shared) revenues in exchange for investment in more sites”.

AutoAir will reduce the time to market for Airspan’s next generation of 5G products and services and builds on the award-winning 4G small cells with integrated access and backhaul in sub 6 GHz and mmWave frequency bands that Airspan sells today.