IBM, Casa Systems & Enea Partner to Deliver Private 5G, RAN Solutions to CSPs

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By Rakshit Mehta, Business Development Executive, Telecom, IBM Oliver Korfmacher, VP of Business Development, Enea; Steve Collins, Senior Vice President, Access Devices, Casa Systems |

Subscriber Data Management with Built-In Security, Interoperability, and Multi-Access 5G for Edge-Based Delivery Intelligence

5G technology, when combined with edge computing, artificial intelligence, and blockchain, enables network customization like never before, providing a unique opportunity to build and control the network experience end-to-end. Unlike 4G, the speed, latency abilities and application potential of 5G carves out a purpose far beyond consumer devices. According to a GSMA report, 5G connections will surpass 1 billion in 2022 and 2 billion by 2025, and 5G will account for over a fifth of total mobile connections. Beyond mobile phones, 5G will play a major role in key industries, like healthcare, manufacturing, defense and more, keeping critical systems and applications running. As these networks continue to gain traction in enterprise operations, the need for heightened security increases. Private networks, locally hosted or via the cloud, offer a path to data ownership, high levels of security, application customization, and differentiated performance.

Casa Systems, Enea and IBM have built a complete Private 5G solution that combines best in class technology with agility for service providers to deploy, or enterprises to build, Private 5G solutions that are more scalable, dynamically adjustable, reliable and secure.

All three organizations are playing a significant role in bringing the Private 5G network to life. Casa Systems’ end-to-end 5G wireless solutions portfolio addresses the coverage and capacity needs for today’s public and private networks, powered by its Axyom Software Framework. Enea delivers security advancements through end-to-end encrypted communications and subscriber data management without vendor lock-in through its open shift model. IBM’s Cloud Pak for Network Automation enables network operation automation so CSPs can transform their networks, evolve to zero-touch operations, reduce OPEX and deliver services faster, as well as advance telcos’ zero trust strategy.

Bringing together subscriber data management, with built-in security, interoperability and multi-access 5G, the partnership will deliver ultra-low latency with reduced end-to-end delivery costs and create a path to 5G network deployment with centralized control and edge-based delivery intelligence. The organizations are currently working on a customer Proof of Concept (POC) collaboration in Dallas.

Manufacturing is just one example of an industry where Private 5G networks will play a critical role. Manufacturing is expected to be the largest beneficiary of 5G services, with many manufacturers already planning to build private 5G networks for factory applications. Technologies like robotics, AI, IoT, 3-D printing, AR, cloud technologies, and more, will be powered by 5G, and this new wave of technology is transforming the concept of manufacturing from mass production to massive customization. A flexible and programmable environment—based on highspeed, low-latency wireless 5G connections, the use of edge computing and AI— is essential for the new industrial landscape.

Additionally, IBM is working with Casa to build ORAN solutions to address Private 5G use cases enabling service providers and enterprises to build solutions that are much more flexible and resilient to change than they are today. ORAN provides carriers the ability to use disparate best-in-class components without the worry of vendor lock-in. Besides cost savings, the openness of the ORAN architecture makes the network increasingly efficient delivering key benefits including flexibility, agility, and scalability of the network. Radio Intelligent Controller (RIC) enables best-of-breed Open RAN to support interoperability across different hardware (RU, servers) and software (DU/CU) components, as well as advanced ML/AI tools to deliver real-time self-optimized network automation.

O-RAN delivers on the promise of 5G with a software driven, affordable architecture offering gigabit throughputs, O-RAN interoperability, and edge-friendly deployments. Casa Systems’ O-RAN technology is an extension of its core products, streamlining implementation and management of a fully virtualized solution offering slicing and local breakout which is key to support future use cases.

5G has the potential to support thousands of use cases and applications for consumers and enterprises across industries. Our collaboration, as best-of-breed vendors, will not only help us to harness the potential of 5G, but prepare for the future through hybrid-cloud led technology and business transformation.

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