May 18, 2021
The private wireless startup Celona aims to combine computing-as-a-service and networking-as-a-service in a new "edgeless enterprise" 5G architecture announced Tuesday.
The Cupertino, California-based firm says this new offering will let business customers transition processes and applications to higher-performance edge computing and ease management of these new systems by relying on automated tools to orchestrate and secure traffic.
"In today's fast changing business environment, network services need to be in lockstep with enterprise applications," its press release quotes CEO and Co-Founder Rajeev Shah as saying. "Celona's edgeless enterprise architecture is the first comprehensive approach that uses the true value of emerging 5G technology to speed the convergence of network services and applications wherever they need to reside."
Celona's edgeless enterprise relies on software-defined networking principles to split network control and data functions. In it, such "data plane" functions as encryption and quality-of-service enforcement can be overseen by automated routines built on its "MicroSlicing" technology.
That, the release says, involves automatically identifying network traffic by "learned business intent" and then applying the appropriate policies for performance, routing and security.
In fewer words: The network is even more of the computer.
Celona, founded in 2019 by veterans of such networking firms as Qualcomm, Aruba and Cisco, aims to capitalize on the possibilities of the CBRS frequencies that the FCC opened to commercial use in January 2020.
Celona sees the ability to build private networks on those midband frequencies as a key advantage over carrier-hosted 5G network services, and one that companies will pay to have Celona set up for them.
"What doesn't click with them is the traditional model," Celona CTO and Co-Founder Mehmet Yavuz told Light Reading in October 2019. "This wide area deployment model is a non-starter for many of them, because they want a local network."
Visibility and control for enterprises is fundamental, he continued: "They want the data to stay on their premises, and all of those are the things they are not getting today."
Companies could also use Wi-Fi for those functions, but beyond superior range, Celona also touts such advantages for private 5G (and LTE) as more reliable handover and more efficient traffic management in such high-bandwidth, performance-sensitive use cases as video feeds from outdoor cameras and robotic systems in large factories.
Celona has raised $40 million in funding so far, including a $30 million Series B round in October 2020 led by NTTVC and Qualcomm Ventures.
— Rob Pegoraro, special to Light Reading. Follow him @robpegoraro.
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