Verizon unveiled a new vehicle that brings the functionality of its wireless network to the doorstep of any enterprise willing to pay for it – sort of a private network on wheels.
That doesn’t have the same ring as the COWs or COLTs that operators routinely use, which may in part be why Verizon is technically calling this a “Mobile Onsite Network-as-a-Service (NaaS).”
It’s actually a 10-foot trailer designed to deliver private mobile edge compute (MEC), SD-Wan and satellite connectivity to customer locations. Currently, it’s being used by Lockheed Martin at its campus in Waterton, Colorado.
The 5G and edge compute that the trailer delivers can be managed locally by enterprise or public sector customers for “enhanced operational flexibility just about wherever they need it,” according to Verizon.
A matter of hours after arriving at Lockheed Martin's Waterton campus, the entire solution was set up and testing was completed over a satellite connection, Verizon said. At Lockheed, they’re using it to collect sensor data and video to provide key performance indicators to assess network operations.
In a press release, Verizon said that even with 5G technology more accessible than ever, in some situations there is still an opportunity to enhance the network and technological capabilities for enterprise and public sector customers in locations where network connections and coverage can be challenging.
This particular asset can be used by utilities, agriculture, manufacturing and other industries in the market for a plug and play model for temporary or permanent use.
Mobile lab, too
The Mobile Onsite NaaS also can be used as a Mobile Lab as a Service, which happens to be part of Verizon Innovation Labs’ offerings. Verizon operates three Innovation Labs in Boston, Los Angeles and San Francisco, but for customers who aren’t near those locations, the Mobile Onsite NaaS can go to them on their corporate campus or job site.
The vehicle is equipped with an onboard diesel generator with a 100-gallon fuel tank that can power the network as a self-contained unit, according to a spokesperson. In addition, it’s capable of using 240-volt, 50-amp shore power and leaving the generator off.
Verizon isn’t revealing the exact cost of using this trailer as that’s dependent on a lot of things, such as project requirements, as well as length of time and support that’s needed. It’s capable of operating in 4G or 5G Standalone (SA) mode, as well as 5G Non-Standalone (NSA).