Ananki start-up attempts to simplify private 5G

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A startup that uses open source components to offer a software-defined private 5G-as-a-service hopes to attract businesses with an architecture it says is as simple as Wi-Fi.

Called Ananki, the company requires few businesses to deploy the service: Customers tune small 5G cellular radios on site, route them to a cloud network running Ananki software, install SIM cards on the enterprise hardware that will be included in the service, and automate Ananki remotely configures radio stations and provides SIM cards.

The service includes a dashboard and API for customizing the implementation and provides round-the-clock support.

This is a change in the pace of private 5G offerings on the market at the moment, which require expanding internal 5G knowledge or hiring external experts, contracting with 5G spectrum service providers or licensing themselves, and negotiating connections to the core network.

“I don’t think they want it to be just like Wi-Fi, in part because it’s a bit of a rifle approach to kill,” said Gartner analyst Bill Menezes. “What they are really trying to do, at least from my point of view, is to make the organization as seamless as possible to adopt private 5G.” This is a potentially big attraction for IIoT and Industry 4.0 users, to whom Ananki has explicitly directed its initial marketing materials.