Next generation mobile telecoms platform built in Belfast

L-R: Jeremy Fitch, executive director of business solutions, Invest NI; Liam McCollum, director of software engineering, Enea and Fergus Wills, strategic marketing manager, Enea.

A NEW 5G next generation mobile telecoms platform has been built by Swedish software firm Enea’s Belfast-based engineering team.

The Stockholm-headquartered specialist in software for telecom and cybersecurity secured a foothold in Northern Ireland during 2018 when it acquired US-based Openwave Mobility and its established Belfast research and development (R&D) team at Charles House on Donegall Street.

Invest NI confirmed it has offered the company a £787,000 grant toward R&D, which it said enabled Enea to be first to market with its new product.

Enea’s new 5G service engine platform has been developed to help major telecoms providers to intelligently manage traffic to and from their sites.

The team behind it has had a presence in Belfast for more than 20 years. Invest NI said Openwave was one of the pioneers behind the emergence of the internet and its technologies are used by billions globally when using their mobile phones or connecting to the Internet.

As part of Enea, it’s now one of 21 global bases helping provide technology to more than 100 communication service providers, whose networks support over 4.5 billion people.

Jeremy Fitch, executive director of business growth at Invest NI, said the skills developed by Enea’s Belfast team has positioned it as a centre of excellence for 5G traffic management technology development.

“Our R&D assistance supported the company’s earlier 4G technology which helped it to grow in the US, Europe and Asia Pacific,” he said

“Through our offer of assistance, Enea has built on the performance of its past technologies and entered the 5G domain.”

Enea’s director of software engineering, Liam McCollum, explained: “With the revolution of 5G comes a greater demand for secure and reliable systems to manage network traffic and data.

“People around the world are engaging in more and more ways to watch video content, particularly with the popularity of channels like YouTube and the increase in ‘on demand’ services.

“Our 5G service engine enables telecom providers to add value and enhance that user experience in 5G.

“From the outset, this was a technically ambitious project,” he continued.

“The exceptional talent in our Belfast centre enabled us to research and ultimately develop our new cloud-based architecture for 5G services which is changing the face of mobile telecommunications worldwide.

“Northern Ireland’s talent and the R&D support from Invest NI were key to our decision in choosing to develop the new platform here.

“We’re already seeing great interest globally and in September 2022 we secured a significant contract with a market-leading North American mobile operator.”