Weaver Labs is a blockchain-software company who developed Cell‑Stack – software that manages the telecommunications infrastructure to be used as a service. By creating a network and integrating a diverse set of telecommunications assets which belong to different suppliers of infrastructure (e.g. antennas, posts & traffic lights where antennas can be mounted, fiber network providers, fixed‑broadband network owners, satellite networks, edge clouds and public clouds, etc.), Cell‑Stack aggregates all these assets into a shared pool of resources and opens it up to be consumed as a service.
WeaverLabs came to Lighthouse London asking us to design an MVP so they could secure further funding while delivering on their first project – Smart Junctions 5G in partnership with VivaCity and Transport for Greater Manchester with the objective of building a private 5G network that would provide resilient connectivity for city management services.
ProblemTo design an orchestration platform enabling telecommunication companies to manage their assets and automate their network operations in a streamlined and efficient way, using Cell-Stack.
ChallengesThe challenge of the project consisted in a combination of the sheer complexity of the technology, limited budget (under 50K), and a timeframe of 4-5 months. I was the only person who managed the project, worked with stakeholders, and did all the hands‑on work.
It's a complex technology, but here's a simplified overview. All the assets to be managed by Cell-Stack must be digitized and configured. They can be separated into two broad categories: active assets (wireless routers, radio transmitters, networking hardware, energy equipment, so on), and passive assets (masts, ducts, power sources or street furniture). All of them have a digital representation in the Cell in the form of a NF (network function). Additionally, there may be purely virtual NFs too. All NFs may be part of other NFs. NFs may be grouped to form NSs (network services) that can then be made available to infrastructure users to be consumed as services. Infrastructures need to be created and configured by users. User roles need to be granularly configured with different CRUDX permissions to manage those infrastructures. For a more detailed overview, see the white paper.
ApproachThis project required an extra number of design iterations and very close constant work with the team. I had to start designing and iterating to fully understand Cell-Stack's functions. For weeks me and Anthony, co-founder and software developer, would meet every business day to discuss and iterate. In that process we adjusted the scope, cutting off non‑vital functionalities, making sure the delivery of a functioning platform is possible on time.
DeliverablesWeaver Labs came with their core technology developed which was already addressing the needs of the infrastructure managers and users and my job was to design an orchestration platform for them, which included:
OutcomesEight moths after delivering the designs Weaver Labs succeeds in providing reliable connectivity services for the Smart Junctions 5G and demonstrates the ability to replicate this anywhere and bring these innovations to the rest of the UK. This success serves as a precursor to securing funding from national innovation agency Innovate UK marking a strategic advancement in the UK telecoms industry.
Now Weaver Labs is trusted by leading players in the industry and are part of all major government programs that lead strategic development in telecoms.
07/2021 - 11/2021