Airspan Networks Named Winner of Three Small Cell Forum Innovation Awards, Demonstrating Solution Scalability for Both Public and Private Networks

Second consecutive year Rakuten Mobile and Airspan recognized by Small Cell Forum; 5th year in a row Airspan honored for innovation by the Forum

Category: Excellence in Commercial Deployment by a Mobile Network Operator; Rakuten Mobile and Airspan Recognized for Open RAN network densification deployments

Category: Excellence in Commercial Deployment by a Private Network Operator; Airspan 5G Network in a Box/Starter Kit recognized for Accelerating Adoption of 5G Private Networks, Solving Complex Integration Challenges, Streamlining Time to Market; with Druid Software

Category: Outstanding Contribution to New Small Cell Business Case; Betacom 5G as a Service, the first fully-managed private wireless service, powered by Airspan and Druid Software

Airspan Networks Inc., a subsidiary of Airspan Networks Holdings Inc. (NYSE American: MIMO), a US-based provider of groundbreaking, disruptive software and hardware for 5G networks, and a pioneer in end-to-end Open RAN solutions, has won three Small Cell Forum Innovation Awards. The awards include:

  • Excellence in Commercial Deployment by a Mobile Network Operator, Rakuten Mobile, for Open RAN network densification deployments featuring Airspan solutions
  • Excellence by a Private Network Operator for Airspan’s 5G Network in a Box/5G Starter Kit, with Druid Software
  • Outstanding Contribution to New Small Cell Business Case/Betacom 5G as a Service, powered by Airspan’s comprehensive portfolio of innovative indoor and outdoor private wireless small cells and by the Druid Raemis 4G/5G core platform with unique features designed specifically for critical enterprise applications

This is the second year in a row Rakuten Mobile and Airspan have been recognized for its innovation and leadership by the Small Cell Forum, and the fifth consecutive year Airspan has been honored by the Small Cell Forum, which announced its 2022 innovation award winners at its annual event on May 24 in London.

Deployment of Open RAN and Small Cells

Rakuten Mobile has demonstrated an open and virtualized RAN network can be deployed at scale, integrating macro cell sites and small cells to improve coverage in hard-to-reach outdoor areas, to boost capacity in hot spots and to provide indoor coverage as well. The Rakuten Mobile network utilizes Airspan’s 4G and 5G small cells and radios specifically optimized for Rakuten Mobile’s unique open and virtualized RAN requirements to provide coverage and capacity in multiple dense urban areas in Japan.

“Small cells play a key role in our network, expanding coverage and capacity and improving densification," said Sharad Sriwastawa, CTO, Rakuten Mobile, Inc. "Working with Airspan, Rakuten Mobile is able to deploy thousands of cells in a matter of minutes instead of hours or days. This ability to accelerate deployments through plug & play technology is a key differentiator of the Rakuten Mobile network.”

5G Network in a Box Accelerating Adoption of 5G Private Networks Globally

One of the main challenges in deploying private networks in this multi-vendor architecture environment is the complexity of integration. So Airspan accelerated and streamlined the end-to-end integration process. Our team invited a number of strategic ecosystem partners into our 5G innovation labs. The strategy was to use a controlled environment to gather knowledge on the integration process, create an improved integration model, and begin the partner validation process with our innovative and disruptive small cell solutions. Airspan has worked with a number of strategic partners, including Druid Software, to bring this innovation to market, which can be deployed in just days not months, a game changer.

Airspan has accelerated its innovation and industry leadership in private networks with a number of new solutions, deployments and strategic partnerships to take advantage of this surging interest to accelerate private network adoption, across the globe. That includes the award-winning 5G Network in a Box.

“Airspan is proud to once again be recognized by the Small Cell Forum for our innovation and leadership with partners Rakuten Mobile, Druid Software and Betacom,” said Abel Mayal, Airspan’s SVP of Marketing and Technology. “The fact Airspan has been recognized for five consecutive years by the Forum is a demonstration of our focus on driving innovation and excellence in industry-leading solutions development.

“Airspan’s innovative solutions are based on intelligent software to provide automation for plug & play functionality for enterprise private network deployments at scale,” said Mayal. “Small cells are the critical, integral radio form factor for numerous private network and public network use cases. Small cells are a superior option to improve indoor and outdoor coverage and capacity, and we are proud to work with Rakuten Mobile to help build and densify their Open RAN network.”

“Druid is delighted to be recognized by the Small Cell Forum for the fourth year in a row for the market- leading capabilities our Raemis cellular core platform with our partners Betacom and Airspan Networks solutions,” said Tadhg Kenny, Druid Software’s SVP of Marketing & Partnerships. “This industry commendation is a great testimony to Druid’s vision to make 5G core networks agile, scalable and easy to manage.”

Outstanding Contribution to New Small Cell Business Case

As Betacom was developing their 5G as a Service offering, the team surveyed the ecosystem to find best-in-breed partners for providing two key components of the solution – a flexible mobile core that could be deployed on premises, and a RAN that could deliver 4G at launch and then quickly migrate to 5G. With this award, Betacom announced that they selected the Druid Raemis core and the Airspan Networks’ RAN. For enterprises, this means the solution has been fully tested as a whole, and it just works when installed. This allows Betacom to commit to Key Performance Indicators with fully integrated solution elements for each and every customer. Private 4G/5G networks have incredible potential to revolutionize the way that industries such as transportation, manufacturing, and warehouse/logistics conduct their business and accelerate progress as they implement Industry 4.0 strategies, and the Betacom solution with trusted partners makes this possible.

“Airspan is a top innovator in the private networking space and an invaluable partner for Betacom as we work to scale our 5GaaS offering,” said Betacom CEO Johan Bjorklund. “Our ability to plan and manage the country’s best private 5G networks must be supported by a rock-solid radio access foundation, which is exactly what Airspan provides. We are very pleased to see them receive this well-deserved recognition.”

To read more about several examples of innovative 5G Starter Kit use cases with numerous customer and partner 5G/Open RAN private network deployments, which are contributing to rapid private networks expansion, promoting 5G adoption, and accelerating the Open RAN ecosystem worldwide, please go to

About Airspan Networks

Airspan Networks Holdings Inc. (NYSE American: MIMO) is a U.S.-based provider of groundbreaking, disruptive software and hardware for 5G networks, and a pioneer in end-to-end Open RAN solutions that provide interoperability with other vendors. As a result of innovative technology and significant R&D investments to build and expand 5G solutions, Airspan believes it is well-positioned with 5G indoor and outdoor, Open RAN, private networks for enterprise customers and industrial use applications, fixed wireless access (FWA), and CBRS solutions to help mobile network operators of all sizes deploy their networks of the future, today. With over one million cells shipped to 1,000 customers in more than 100 countries, Airspan has global scale. For more information, visit

About Rakuten Mobile

Rakuten Mobile, Inc. is a Rakuten Group company responsible for mobile communications. As the fourth entrant to the mobile carrier business in Japan, Rakuten Mobile aims to redefine industry expectations and provide simple and easy-to-use mobile services through its innovative network technology. For more information, please visit:

About Betacom

Betacom offers the first fully managed private 5G network, building on its long history as a wireless infrastructure provider to AT&T, T Mobile, and Verizon. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Bellevue, Washington, the company has regional offices throughout the country. Having completed more than 800 large-scale design and deployment projects, Betacom inspires confidence among their customers who have worked closely with them to meet their pressing high-performance connectivity needs. Its private 5G wireless service is the first managed service of its kind in the United States. For more information, visit Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Druid:

Druid Software is a core cellular network software company based in Ireland. Established in 2001 Druid has evolved into one of the world’s leaders in Private 5G & 4G Cellular technology over the last 20 years. Druids RAEMISTM platform is a mature 3GPP compliant 4G/5G core network, with unique features designed specifically for business and mission critical use.

Druid’s mature RAEMISTM platform is in use today by ISPs and Enterprises for mission critical environments in the U.S, EMEA, LATAM and Asia Pac. Druid technology enables solutions in different areas including enterprise communications, IoT, mobile edge computing, and public safety. For more information, please visit or stay up to date with everything private network related by following us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube.


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