The US National Science Foundation (NSF) partnered with 35 wireless companies and associations to speed the development of open source standalone (SA) 5G software by opening a dedicated research centre.

Their OpenAirX-Labs (OAX) initiative will be part of the NSF’s Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research and be located in Northeastern University in Boston.

NSF explained the programme will provide a neutral, remotely-accessible laboratory environment in North America, enabling researchers to accelerate development of a stable, compliant, and performant 5G open source software stack.

The facility will coordinate closely with Eurecom in France, which is conducting similar research and is part of OAX.

OAX has developed a cloud-based Continuous Integration and Development (CI/CD) suite mirroring the OpenAirInterface facilities at Eurecom.

In addition to the NSF, the US Department of Defence’s (DoD) research and engineering arm will help fund the OAX research.

Facebook, Qualcomm, Interdigital, NI, Radisys and Xilinx are founding corporate members.

The research programme will be overseen by NSF, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the DoD and US Ignite, a non-profit funded by operators, integrators and vendors, as well as the US government.

US Ignite explained the set-up will provide software developers with more opportunities to optimise and innovate around network operations than they have with commercial software offerings.