Symware: Carrier-grade Open RAN platform leveraging cloud-native architecture

Intel, Juniper Networks, and Rakuten Symphony announced a collaborative effort to create Symware, a carrier-grade Open RAN platform for mobile network operators to modernize radio cell sites by leveraging the latest cloud-native architecture. This Symware multipurpose edge appliance provides operators with the flexibility to densify their network, accommodate various network topologies, and support new features while reducing the required hardware per site, according to the partners.  Symware is targeted for availability the first half of 2022 through Rakuten Symphony.
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Backgrounder: Mobile network operators around the world (e.g. Telecom Italia, Vodafone, Telefonica, Rakuten, Dish Network, etc) are starting to deploy Open RAN and cloud-native architecture in their networks, which will provide them greater agility, enable smarter security, and empower them with new levels of automation while broadening and securing their supply chain.
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“We have a great opportunity to disrupt this industry, we have a great opportunity to really connect everything and bring better value to overall society and Rakuten Symphony is the platform idea for all the software technology stack that we have built into Japan. We wanted to take four years of lessons and package them into solutions that deliver immediate benefits to our customers and the telecoms industry,” said Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony.

“Rakuten Symphony constantly looks to introduce leading-edge innovations to accelerate network transformations. With our partners, we have developed a cost-performance optimized appliance that simplifies the cell site deployment for 4G, 5G and future generations of mobile technology. Symware provides operators with the ultimate future-proof cell site solution that enables them to flexibly densify their network and accommodate various network topologies at the lowest cost.”

Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony speaking at 2021 MWC-LA

The Symware multipurpose edge appliance combines the containerized cell site routing functionality and a containerized Distributed Unit on a single general purpose server platform, which significantly reduces the capital and operating expenditures for an operator. Offering consistent carrier-grade routing stack across both physical and virtual Radio Access Networks, the solution readily enables 5G network slicing features both in RAN and transport domains including slice isolation, slice monitoring and dynamic traffic steering through segment routing. The solution supports automation with zero-touch provisioning, rolling updates, telemetry and analytics for all the components, and is based on the Kubernetes® ecosystem for orchestration and networking.  Rakuten Symphony believes the solution will help slash total cost of ownership, fast track RAN innovation and provide greater agility, smart security and new levels of automation.

Dan Rodriguez, Intel corporate vice president and general manager, Network Platforms Group added, “We continue to see the industry shift to take advantage of the many benefits provided by the cloudification of the RAN. By utilizing our Next Generation Intel® Xeon® D Processors and FlexRANTM reference software, this collaboration showcases how RAN workloads can be consolidated onto a single server and meet the performance, capacity and cost requirements of 5G RAN deployments.”

Raj Yavatkar, Juniper’s CTO, stated, “Removing the obstacles of deploying ORAN in disaggregated production networks is critical for 5G growth. Integrated routing and ORAN in a single platform delivers cost and operational benefits for network operators. Combined with industry leading Intel technology and Rakuten’s DU software, Juniper’s disaggregated and state-of-art routing stack offers operators a unique solution for delivering differentiated 5G services including network slicing.”

Developed with Rakuten Symphony’s know-how and experience with cloud-native and Open RAN-based networks, leading containerized RAN software from Altiostar, a Rakuten Symphony company, Next Generation Intel® Xeon® D Processors and FlexRANTM reference software, and Juniper’s carrier-hardened cloud-native routing stack, Symware will give operators more opportunity to create innovations within their networks, while broadening and securing their supply chain.

* KUBERNETES ® is a registered trademark of the Linux Foundation in the United States and other countries.

* Intel and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.

About Intel
Intel is an industry leader, creating world-changing technology that enables global progress and enriches lives. Inspired by Moore’s Law, we continuously work to advance the design and manufacturing of semiconductors to help address our customers’ greatest challenges. By embedding intelligence in the cloud, network, edge and every kind of computing device, we unleash the potential of data to transform business and society for the better. To learn more about Intel’s innovations, go to newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.

About Juniper Networks

Juniper Networks is dedicated to dramatically simplifying network operations and driving superior experiences for end users. Our solutions deliver industry-leading insight, automation, security and AI to drive real business results. We believe that powering connections will bring us closer together while empowering us all to solve the world’s greatest challenges of well-being, sustainability and equality. Additional information can be found at Juniper Networks (www.juniper.net) or connect with Juniper on TwitterLinkedIn and Facebook.

About Rakuten Symphony
Rakuten Symphony, a Rakuten Group organization with operations across Japan, Singapore, India, EMEA, and the United States, develops and brings to the global marketplace cloud-native, Open RAN telco infrastructure platforms, services and solutions, through the Rakuten Communications Platform. For more information visit https://symphony.rakuten.com/.

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In related news, Rakuten Mobile (parent company of Rakuten Symphony) recently announced an agreement to acquire Estmob, a South Korean peer-to-peer file transfer solution start-up. The Japanese carrier said that the acquisition will establish a research and development presence in South Korea for Rakuten Symphony.

2 thoughts on “Symware: Carrier-grade Open RAN platform leveraging cloud-native architecture

  1. I wonder where the “edge” is for this Symware device? Is it at a small cell site? Is it at some other point in the network where aggregation of multiple sites might be?

    The answers to those questions might come from other related questions about its form factor and whether it will be outside plant hardened or require an environmentally-controlled enclosure.

    Will this be available from multiple suppliers? There is nothing to indicate it will be.

    Lots of questions, but that’s always been the case with 5G, as you have astutely been pointing out for years, Alan.

    1. Ken, As I’ve told you and so many others for years, there is no clear definition or demarcation point for “the edge.” It could even be on customer premises!
      Further, Open RAN is NOT restricted to 5G, but also covers 4G-LTE as Rakuten Mobile has deployed in Japan. Rakuten Mobile reached 88.6% population coverage with its 4G infrastructure in May, thanks to the deployment of around 22,500 Open RAN sites, and targets hitting 96% by the end of the summer of 2021, something that is well “within grasp,” Amin said.
      https://www.telecomtv.com/content/open-ran/rakuten-takes-openness-up-a-level-with-no-secrets-hardware-pricing-pledge-41685/

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