International alliance for private cellular networks is expanding its mission to 5G technology.
MFA, which was previously known as the MulteFire Alliance, was founded in 2015 by Nokia and Qualcomm Incorporated. Its mission was to develop and promote MulteFire – an LTE-based technology for small networks operating solely in unlicensed spectrum.
MFA has today announced “its expanded mission to enable 5G private networks in unlicensed, shared and locally licensed spectrum by providing guidance to enterprises seeking to deploy their own network.”
MFA is now developing “blueprints” for Uni5G technology based on existing 3GPP 5G specifications. “These blueprints will help enterprises select and implement the key features from the 3GPP standards that are relevant to their specific deployment. MFA will also develop best practices and deployment guides, including industry resources on understanding all available spectrum options for 5G private networks. The first Uni5G Technology Blueprint will be available in Q4 2021,” MFA said.
“MFA paved the way for industries to contemplate how they can deploy their own private network in unlicensed spectrum using MulteFire 4G/LTE-based cellular technology with high-performance, built-in security and mobility benefits,” said Mazen Chmaytelli, president, MFA. “Now through our expanded role in enabling 5G private networks, MFA will provide industry verticals with practical guidance on deployment that will meet their unique requirements and determine which spectrum option is right for their site.”
Explaining this further, MFA said: “MFA has been awarded a global Public Land Mobile Network (PLMN) ID by the ITU. MFA is planning to make this PLMN ID available to industry verticals. The PLMN ID is a series of numbers that identifies a specific network and ensures that only authorized devices connect to that network.
“With access to a unique global PLMN ID number, industry verticals are able to deploy their own 5G private network in locally licensed spectrum or a MulteFire private network in unlicensed spectrum today.
“MFA members and others under MFA authorisation are able to bundle the PLMN ID with their network equipment, thus simplifying the deployment process for enterprises by eliminating the need for them to separately apply for a PLMN ID”.
“Across all industry verticals, we’re witnessing a drive to increase control, reliability and security through deployment of private networks,” said Chmaytelli. “Enterprises can now leverage locally licensed spectrum using Uni5G technology, and later can use global unlicensed or shared spectrum when 5G NR-U solutions become available. Through our Uni5G Technology Blueprints and our unique global PLMN ID, MFA has simplified the path to 5G private networks and is helping to accelerate the ecosystem.”