Vodafone and Lime Microsystems Unveil Upgraded 5G Network-in-a-Box with Raspberry Pi 5 Integration

Vodafone and Lime Microsystems Unveil Upgraded 5G Network-in-a-Box with Raspberry Pi 5 Integration

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Cellular network giant Vodafone and software-defined radio specialist Lime Microsystems have announced they will be showing off a revamped version of their 5G network-in-a-box device, built around a Raspberry Pi 5 single-board computer.

Vodafone and Lime Microsystems have collaborated to develop an advanced 5G network-in-a-box solution, which is based on a Raspberry Pi 5 single-board computer. This innovative device represents a significant upgrade over previous designs, offering higher bandwidth, a smaller physical size, and reduced power consumption.

The network-in-a-box device is designed to provide a complete 5G network solution in a compact and efficient package. It leverages software-defined radio (SDR) technology, allowing for flexible and customizable network configurations. This enables faster deployment of 5G networks in various environments, including remote areas, temporary setups, and specialized applications.

By utilizing the Raspberry Pi 5 as the core computing platform, the new network-in-a-box solution benefits from its powerful processing capabilities, versatile connectivity options, and widespread developer support. This makes it easier for developers and network operators to integrate and customize the device according to their specific needs and requirements. The collaboration between Vodafone and Lime Microsystems showcases the ongoing innovation and evolution in the field of 5G networks, providing a glimpse into the future of flexible, scalable, and efficient network solutions.

“Following on from the success of last year’s unveiling of the Raspberry Pi 5G network-in-a-box at Mobile World Congress, Vodafone is introducing a new improved version at MWC24 with numerous use cases, ranging from network coverage extension to 5G network delivery via drone,” says Lime Micro’s Andrew Back.

According to Lime Micro’s Andrew Back, the new system will be fully compatible with Raspberry Pi 5, providing improved compute performance for addressing various use cases, including network coverage extension and 5G network delivery via drones. The project is a continuation of the success seen with last year’s Raspberry Pi 5G network-in-a-box unveiled at Mobile World Congress.

The new system is based on LimeNET CrowdCell, an open radio access network (open RAN) solution that utilizes Lime Micro’s LimeSDR software-defined radio technology. It serves as a small cell network base station for rapid deployment and remote reconfiguration. The latest revision integrates the Raspberry Pi 5, offering enhanced computing capabilities over previous models.

The LimeNET CrowdCell (pictured) is getting a smaller, lower-power successor, powered by a Raspberry Pi 5.
The LimeNET CrowdCell (pictured) is getting a smaller, lower-power successor, powered by a Raspberry Pi 5.

Back mentions that the Lime radio module has undergone further improvements for lower power consumption and a smaller form factor. Optimized drivers for the efficient Amarisoft 5G software stack enable the deployment of a self-contained, plug-and-play network solution for various use cases.

The new model is set to launch in the first half of the year and will be demonstrated during Mobile World Congress (MWC)2024  at Vodafone’s booth in Hall 3, Stand 3E11.

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