Vodafone, Lime Micro Unveil a Next-Generation 5G Network-in-a-Box Built Around a Raspberry Pi 5

Revised SDR base station design offers higher bandwidth, a smaller form factor, and a lower power draw.

Gareth Halfacree
2 months ago β€’ Communication / 5G

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.

"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. "The new system will be fully compatible with Raspberry Pi 5 for higher bandwidth and overall performance to address more demanding industrial applications."

The project builds on the LimeNET CrowdCell, an open radio access network (open RAN) solution that uses Lime Micro's LimeSDR software-defined radio technology to provide a small cell network base station for rapid deployment and remote reconfiguration. The company's partnership with Vodafone saw the concept taken further, culminating in the latest revision β€” which builds around the latest Raspberry Pi 5 single-board computer, offering considerably boosted compute performance over prior models.

"The Lime radio module has also gone through further improvements for lower power, smaller form factor," Back adds of the redesign, "and with optimized drivers for the highly efficient Amarisoft 5G [software] stack, enabling deployment of a completely self-contained, plug and play network solution for a wide variety of use cases."

The new model is due to launch in the first half of this year, Lime Micro has confirmed, and will be shown off later this month during demos in Vodafone's booth at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, Hall 3, Stand 3E11.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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