Flexibility from the start

The Blu Wireless proprietary Mobile Connection Manager (MCM) is a modular software architecture. It presents customers with a new approach to multi-link management within a 5G mmWave network, providing a significantly more flexible and highly configurable framework that can be adapted to a variety of mobility applications.

Contrary to traditional software development projects that are heavily reactive to new requirements or changing specification once the software is in the field, the MCM has a built-in flexibility from the start and allows customers and software developers to be completely proactive. This application software for mobility use cases can be changed easily post-release, remotely or in the field to meet new or unforeseen requirements.

Rail and V2X in urban environments

Key applications

Commercially proven in the track to train deployments currently underway with First Group on the Isle of Wight and South Western Rail, the MCM’s features and flexibility are directly applicable to general mobility based communication systems:

  • Rail: The MCM coordinates the making and breaking of connections between all radios of both the trackside and on-train nodes. This beam choreography maximises and optimises throughput to ensure commuters benefit from gigabit connections for their devices during the journey.
  • Mobile mesh for vehicles: The MCM can pre-empt and optimise the forming and closing of connections between on-vehicle nodes. This behaviour enables a reliable, rapid, and smooth connection handover between vehicles, which is particularly crucial for V2V applications.
  • 5G connected highway: When several trackside nodes are visible at any one time to the nodes on vehicles, the MCM can programme on-vehicle nodes to re-evaluate existing connections. As soon as the vehicle is past a trackside post, the moving node drops its current connection and re-scans the area to ensure it only connects to the best available link.
5G connected highway

Tech highlights

  • Adaptable Behaviour: The MCM’s behaviour is programmable post-release and at runtime.
  • Low entry barrier: The MCM software uses Lua as a standard embedded scripting language.
  • Locality Awareness: Data stored in trackside nodes can be sent to vehicle nodes for use by the MCM, enabling optimised decision making based on where on the track a vehicle node is located.
  • Geolocation Awareness: GPS inside trackside and vehicle nodes is detectable via the MCM, enabling decision making based on geolocation of vehicle nodes relative to trackside nodes.
  • Inter-Node Messaging: On-vehicle units can exchange messages, improving decision-making based on vehicle perspective.

Commercially proven

This software has been extensively tested in the lab and in challenging outdoor environments for both rail and V2V applications. Furthermore, it is a key component in Blu Wireless’s current track to train deployment in partnership with First Group. Rail applications in particular operate in particularly challenging environments including tunnels, curves, reflective surfaces, foliage, line of sight as well as being exposed to the elements – the MCM is vital to providing consistently well performing connections throughout a constantly changing environment.

A key takeaway from deploying with rail is that built-in software behaviours cannot be fixed, as what works for one deployment is unlikely to work for another. Even within the same rail deployment the changing landscapes mean that the behaviour of nodes may need to be adjusted for different sections of the track. The Blu Wireless Mobile Connection Manager has been built with the understanding that flexibility and requirement changes post-release are vital for a range of mobility applications and offers an innovative approach to multi-link management.

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