CTS and Druid Software partner for private networks

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CTS said logistics is one of the key use cases for private networks. (ake1150sb/iStockPhoto)

Systems integrator Communications Technology Services (CTS) has formed another partnership around private wireless, announcing plans to enhance its CBRS private network capabilities by integrating Druid Software's Raemis platform. Druid provides core network software which can be deployed at customer premises or in a cloud environment.

"CTS is deploying Druid’s Raemis application as the foundation of its managed services solution," said Rob Cerbone, who joined CTS as VP product management and marketing when CTS acquired ClearSky. Cerbone said the Druid mobile core will be installed in CTS data centers to support a variety of private network deployment options. These options include fully cloud-hosted, on-premise or hybrid, which Cerbone defined as onsite multi-access edge compute (MEC) for local data breakout of data, with control plane elements in the cloud.

Cerbone noted that the relationship with Druid is non-exclusive, meaning Druid will continue to work with other integrators, and CTS can work with other core vendors if the customer requirements mandate it.

Druid's software supports both LTE and 5G and is designed for enterprise users. Network slicing expertise, a key motivator for CTS's ClearSky acquisition, was also a driver for the Druid partnership. Druid's network slicing capabilities allow for separation of user groups, traffic balancing and quality of service levels on the RAN using separate packet data networks, the companies said. By combining Druid's Raemis with its traffic management solution, CTS hopes to build private networks that can allocate resources by user group, applications or protocol.

Cerbone said Druid is an attractive partner because it has demonstrated the ability to integrate its core network software with a number of different radios. In The Netherlands for example, Druid worked with Corning's SpiderCloud to deploy a cloud-managed private network at an eldercare facility. In Germany, Druid and Airspan are suppliers for a private 5G network testbed for integrator umlaut. The Irish company is also working with Ericsson to deploy private networks for Seaboard Marine. In Illinois, Druid worked with CommScope to build private networks for triage tents near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Some of the RAN vendors are strong in outdoor capability and some for indoor," said Druid Software's Tadhg Kenny, SVP Marketing. "A handful of them are leading in the 5G standalone area."

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The CTS partnership with Druid Software is the latest in a series of alliances the integrator has recently formed around private networks. In addition to the ClearSky acquisition, CTS has also formed an alliance with Tassta, which makes push-to-talk and push-to-video software and devices for mission critical communications.

Cerbone said CTS is seeing a lot of interest in private networks from industries that use mission critical communications, including oil and gas, mining, manufacturing, logistics and healthcare. He said CTS also sees interest in neutral host CBRS networks for healthcare facilities and commercial real estate.