Digital Catapult – West Midlands 5G (WM5G)

Delivering a 5G router that is robust, reliable (24/7), flexible and secure. 

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Issue

WM5G is a multi-million-pound programme that both the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) have set-up to develop the UK’s first region-wide 5G testbed.

WM5G manages a number of projects to speed up the launch of 5G networks and test, prove and scale up new 5G products and services – for local people, public services and businesses.

WM5G works in partnership with public and private sector organisations to deliver these projects.

The Digital Catapult team were struggling to source a suitable 5G router to meet the rigorous requirements needed for such a device to be able to operate within their Standalone (SA) private 5G test bed.  The key requirements were that it needed to be robust, reliable (24/7), flexible and secure. 

They approached Net4 through its involvement in the WAYRA programme to help them choose the right product.

Solution

As the device would be part of a showcase on the use of 5G in relatively safe to extremely harsh environments, and was to be used in a busy test environment, it was clear that it had to be very robust.  It would also have to be highly reliable so as to allow maximum benefit to the users of the test bed on a 24/7 basis if necessary.  It must be deployable in a variety of configurations so flexible connectivity and maximum use of the 5G spectrum must also be achievable.  The users of the testbed may well be working on sensitive projects and would therefore demand that the environment was secure.

Net4 recommended the Inseego Wavemaker™ 5G industrial gateway S2000e as, with its ruggedised casing, it brings the best of 5G to a wide range of enterprise environments, from factories and warehouses to ports, fleets and smart city networks, ideal for the WM5G projects.   

The S2000e supports public and private networks. It can connect to routing systems or remote endpoints via ethernet or USB via DHCP (router mode or modem mode) to enable a broad range of use cases, again ideal for this application.

Advanced thermal management, WAN management and dual-SIM management with active keep-alive ensures continuous, 24/7 multi-gigabit connectivity.

Along with its strong device security, encryption, content filtering it has proved to be the ideal choice for WM5G and has enabled them to successfully test their new network.

Net4 and Inseego provided the necessary support both on-site as well as utilising the remote management capability of Inseego Connect to ensure the successful implementation of the test bed.

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