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Vilicom taps Mavenir for UK’s first offshore Open RAN private network for windfarm connectivity

Ending a week in which it announced technology for incorporating 2G into Open RAN standards and made a strategic acquisition to enhance its customer engagement platform, cloud-native networks software provider deploys private LTE network for windfarm application in Scotland

UK-based wireless telecommunications provider Vilicom has announced what it says is a connectivity first for the UK in the form of delivering an offshore private Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network for windfarm communications and connectivity.

The Moray East offshore windfarm project is aimed at generating electricity using renewable energy and will be able to fulfil approximately 40% of the total electricity demand in Scotland and power up to 950,000 homes in the UK.

The Vilicom network is designed to provide advanced communications and connectivity to sea vessels and workers operating inside the boundaries of the windfarm off the coast of Scotland. The connectivity also allows workers to be in touch on a regular basis through video calls and emails while at sea.

“Building efficiencies into the construction and operations of a windfarm is a challenge without superfast and reliable connectivity,” said Vilicom CEO Sean Keating. “Vilicom will provide network connectivity to all project operating sea vessels and provides functionality that enables communication not only between workers at sea, but also communication back home and for use in leisure time.”

A critical component of the Vilicom installation is the MAVair solution from cloud-native network software provider Mavenir. The MAVair family includes flexible Open Virtualised RAN (Open vRAN) technology where the evolved RAN architecture, designed with cloud-native virtualisation techniques, enables the RAN to flex and adapt based on usage and coverage.

The Open vRAN platform is also designed to enable Vilicom to provide reliable, scalable, high-throughput solutions that meet low-latency requirements in a challenging environment. The software application runs on commoditised hardware that Mavenir says will provide cost effectiveness, high flexibility and agility to network operators, while providing one architecture for many different user scenarios.

“Mavenir is delighted to partner with Vilicom for this important and equally complex private network system,” remarked chief marketing officer Stefano Cantarelli. “Private networks are increasingly becoming more prevalent and we look forward to collaborating with Vilicom to develop further such use cases and applications. This project highlights the relevance and importance of advanced communications in a real application scenario.”

The win comes just days after Mavenir announced significant enhancements and extensions to its portfolio of software its portfolio communications software solutions and that it had acquired global communications-platform-as-a-service (CPaaS) enablement and application provider Telestax.

The Telestax acquisition is principally designed to enhance Mavenir’s Engage omni-channel messaging monetisation and customer engagement offerings by enabling service providers with new agile, nimble software-as-a-service (SaaS) model to better compete in the new digital economy, delivering specialisation, flexibility and simplicity to meet the needs of businesses of all sizes across a broad spectrum of industry verticals. It is also seen as providing service innovation and feature velocity with easy-to-consume application programming interfaces (APIs) and business-critical applications.

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