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With a goal of enabling educational as well as research and development activity, leading educational institution Riga Technical University (RTU) has signed a technology deal with 5G Open RAN provider IS-Wireless.
Established in 1862, RTU is the oldest established technical university in the Baltic countries, educating and training almost 15,000 students. The institution is focused on becoming a third-generation university that not only provides high-quality education, but also conducts advanced research and ensures innovation and technology transfer, practically implementing scientific discoveries.
In the nine faculties of RTU, it is possible to obtain education in engineering, social sciences and humanities. RTU is developing its infrastructure by constructing a campus on Ķīpsala Island, which will make it the most advanced engineering study centre in the Baltic Region on completion.
A member of the O-RAN Alliance, IS-Wireless is engaged in multiple Open RAN deployments worldwide including at hubraum, the tech incubator of Deutsche Telekom; Digital Catapult in the UK and in Southeast Asia.
The contract with Riga Technical University was announced at a time when central Eastern Europe is looking to Open RAN and private networks. “The deployment of the private 5G network at RTU is perfectly aligned with global trends in the field of mobile networks,” said IS-Wireless CEO Sławomir Pietrzyk.
“Private 5G market is supposed to grow to $129.6 bn by 2032, while its value was estimated at $2.6 bn USD in 2022. Our experience in such deployments will enable the university to fully capture massive educational and research opportunities.
“Interest in private 5G and Open RAN networks is picking up rapidly in Europe. Deployments we’re running in Poland, Germany, UK and other places are proof of that. I am happy to see such a numerous group, coming from diverse backgrounds gathered around the idea of building networks in the Open RAN model and making the most of the private 5G potential.”
The R&D activity carried out at the laboratory will be dedicated to evaluating performance of Open RAN architecture, researching machine learning applications for RIC (radio-access network) Intelligent Controller and building private 5G networking testbeds.
There will be extended R&D cooperation at a new lab at the Riga Technical University. Partners will be also involved in extended research cooperation at a newly launched mobile networks laboratory at the university.
“Launching the laboratory will be the first step towards generating invaluable know-how, competence and experience in our region,” added Pietrzyk. “The cooperative R&D activity will then allow us to deploy even more advanced private 5G networks for various applications, including industrial use cases.”
Liene Briede, vice-rector of innovations at the Riga Technical University, said during the official launch of the laboratory: “It is a very important moment, marking the success of our cooperation. We met [IS-Wireless] just a year ago with the purpose of understanding the changes taking place globally. I believe what we are doing…is the perfect example of responding to these changes.
“The cooperation we’ve established, showcasing our ability to take bold steps very fast, is the prime example of our region’s competitive advantage. Launching the laboratory is a great showcase of fast, collaborative progress. It is the perfect example of the research community and the industry coming together to build capacity and innovate at the faculty of electronics and telecommunications.”
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