ONF and Deutsche Telekom Demonstrate Fully Disaggregated Open RAN and SD-WAN

Deutsche Telekom is working with the Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and eight vendors to test software-defined radio access networks (SD-RAN) and Open RAN in what it calls a fully disaggregated system.  This is the first field trial implementing fully disaggregated open RAN solutions using ONF’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) software platform as defined by the O-RAN architecture. This 4G and 5G Standalone (SA) outdoor trial is live at Deutsche Telekom in Berlin, Germany.

In addition, the Facebook-backed Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is taking part by providing hardware and facilities out of the TIP Community Lab in Berlin hosted by Deutsche Telekom.

Carriers are investing in open RAN to enable a new breed of modular and customizable 5G solutions to accelerate innovation and enable the mix-and-match of best-of-breed components from multiple vendors.  Open RAN gives operators choice and flexibility to customize and optimize their networks. This SD-RAN trial hosted by DT highlights the promise and flexibility of open RAN by integrating components from eight companies: AirHop, Edgecore, Facebook, Foxconn, Intel, Radisys, Supermicro and Wiwynn. Additionally, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is participating by providing hardware and facilities out of the TIP Community Lab in Berlin hosted by DT. The on-site field trial integration and testing is being coordinated and supported by Highstreet Technologies.

The live trial features horizontally disaggregated hardware (separate RU, DU, and CU units), as well as vertically disaggregated software components including an open source near real-time RIC (nRT-RIC) and xApps coming from the ONF’s SD-RAN project. By integrating proprietary and open source components, including a near real-time RIC and xApps, this ground-breaking trial exemplifies a model for how future open RAN deployments are envisioned to take shape.

The entirety of the trial is operationalized leveraging ONF’s Aether platform, a centrally-managed, multi-cloud, cloud-native platform providing Connectivity-as-a-Service, and highlights network slicing with multiple UPFs running at the edge. The SD-Core component of Aether provides 5G connectivity and the control plane running from the public cloud while SD-Fabric is a fully programmable network fabric optimized for the edge cloud used to instantiate a P4-based 4G/5G UPF in hardware.

Aether hosts the Radisys containerized CU while the Intel® Smart Edge Open (formerly known as OpenNESS) software toolkit hosts the Radisys DU to enable cloud-native deployment of the RAN workload with optimization on  the 3rd Gen Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor and Intel® vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100. The CU and DU are integrated with ONF’s nRT-RIC, xApps, SD-Core 5G core and Foxconn O-RU.

“The Berlin SD-RAN Open RAN Trial, is a momentous step towards realizing the vision of fully disaggregated and intelligent RAN, leveraging ONF’s leading open source RAN Intelligent Controller software platform. In addition to open fronthaul, this trial includes disaggregated RU/DU/CU units, and also vertically disaggregates the RIC and xApps according to SDN principles. Together, we are demonstrating the power of truly open RAN and ecosystem collaboration to accelerate innovation.”
– Alex Choi, Senior Vice President Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom and Founding Board Member, O-RAN Alliance

“The SD-RAN Berlin Trial with DT is a significant industry milestone for open RAN.  At ONF we are seeing tremendous interest from the mobile community for our open source implementation of the O-RAN architecture, and this trial demonstrates the maturity of the SD-RAN open source RIC and xApp development platform.”
– Guru Parulkar, Executive Director, ONF

“AirHop is thrilled to be participating in this DT SD-RAN trial. We are contributing commercially hardened 5G xApps that work with the complete Open RAN end-to-end solution.  The trial demonstrates that commercial xApps can be quickly integrated and deployed using O-RAN defined standard interfaces to deliver automated performance optimization.”
– Yan Hui, CEO, AirHop

“Open systems are the future, and Edgecore is pleased to be leading the charge and to be providing open network hardware that is running software from ONF as part of this DT SD-RAN trial. It has been amazing working with this dynamic community, and a real pleasure to be collaborating with DT on this effort.”
– Jeff Catlin, VP of Technology, Edgecore Networks

“We are excited to see multiple ecosystem partners collaborating to test and trial this disaggregated Open RAN solution. We have made great progress with the RIC-xApp portability paradigm and we look forward to continuing to make contributions to the SD-RAN project.”
– Manish Singh, Head of Wireless Ecosystem Programs, Facebook

“Foxconn has contributed the Radio Units (RUs) that are deployed in the SD-RAN trial. Given that this represents the first deployment of a truly disaggregated RAN solution, we’ve been very pleased with the collaboration and commitment shown by the whole SD-RAN community.”
– Dr. Benjamin Wang, Sr. 5G RD Director, Infrastructure Product Division, Foxconn

“Our long-standing collaboration with ONF and its partners reflects our priority to collaborate with the Open Source community and aligns very well to initiatives such as Intel Smart Edge Open® targeted for open innovation and developer acceleration. It is great to see an entire portfolio of Intel technologies enabling ONF SD-RAN and SD-Core ranging from Intel® Xeon®  Scalable processors, vRAN accelerators to software offerings such as Intel® FlexRAN  and Smart Edge Open® get featured in this trial, paving the way to the next wave of disaggregated and intelligent networks.”
– Renu Navale, VP & GM in the Network Platforms Group, Intel

“The OCP and ONF have a synergistic relationship, with OCP focused on open hardware and ONF focused on open software that can run on OCP hardware. The SD-RAN trial with DT exemplifies this relationship, demonstrating OCP Inspired™ openEdge servers from Wiwynn, an OCP Certified Solution Provider, running critical components of the SD-RAN solution.”
– Steve Helvie, VP of Channel, Open Compute Project (OCP)

“As a founding member of the SD-RAN initiative with ONF, Radisys is excited to participate in this important SD-RAN trial at DT, demonstrating use cases of RAN optimization and multi-vendor interoperability. We worked closely with the ONF community to develop service models, use cases and in the end-to-end integration of this field trial. This is a significant step towards commercial adoption of O-RAN based solutions by operators.”
– Arun Bhikshesvaran, CEO, Radisys

“Supermicro is excited to have our servers included in the SD-RAN Berlin trial. This trial is a significant step in realizing the potential of open RAN, and it has provided a great opportunity for multi-vendor collaboration and learning. We are a strong supporter of open source and disaggregation, and believe that it is essential for enabling 5G edge, core and cloud networks.”
– Jeff Sharpe, Director, 5G / IoT Edge Solutions, Supermicro

“TIP is pleased to be collaborating to support the SD-RAN Berlin Trial. The RIA sub-group of the TIP OpenRAN project is prioritizing use cases for open RAN that are being highlighted by this effort, so we see terrific synergies working with ONF and the broader SD-RAN community to support this first-of- its-kind trial featuring a multi-vendor mix of RU/DU/CU controlled by an open RIC and xApps.”
– Attilio Zani, Executive Director, Telecom Infra Project 

“Wiwynn is pleased to be providing our edge cloud optimized servers as part of the DT SD-RAN trial. These systems are designed for edge and telco applications, and are certified by ONF for the Aether platform used for this DT trial. We are committed to building solutions optimized for open RAN deployments, and we’re very excited to see this DT trial advancing the state-of-the-art for open RAN.”
-Steven Lu, Senior Vice President, Wiwynn

DEUTSCHE TELEKOM SD-RAN TRIAL EVENT:

ONF and DT will be co-hosting a virtual event October 19th offering an in-depth view into the trial and key learnings from the community. Featuring live keynotes and on-demand talks from operator and vendor leaders from across the open RAN movement. Register to hear about lessons learned directly from the experts who have deployed the first trial of its kind! The event is open to anyone.:

Deutsche Telekom SD-RAN Trial – Webinar
October 19th, 2021
5pm CEST, 11am EDT, 8am PDT
REGISTER HERE

References:

ONF and Deutsche Telekom Demonstrate Fully Disaggregated Open RAN with Open RIC Platform

 

Deutsche Telekom and partners complete 1st Voice over 5G New Radio call

Deutsche Telekom (DT) together with partners Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Xiaomi announced the successful completion of the world’s first Voice over 5G New Radio (VoNR) call in an end to end multi-vendor environment.

The trial was in DT’s lab in Warsaw, Poland [1.].  The partners were able to verify the capability over a 5G Standalone (SA) network with voice and 5G data sessions in parallel. This network setup integrated a 5G Core from Ericsson and IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) from Nokia. The calls were completed on commercial terminals from Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G, and a 5G smartphone form factor test device powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 780G and 888 5G Mobile Platforms with Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems.

The partners said that “innovation milestone is an important step towards the commercial introduction of seamless native 5G voice services in Deutsche Telekom networks.”

Note 1. Deutsche Telekom, together with Nokia and Ericsson, established the 5G Standalone network infrastructure in test mode at Deutsche Telekom’s lab in Warsaw, Poland, where testing and engineering is conducted on behalf of the entire Group.

 

Timotheus Höttges CEO Deutsche Telekom

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In cloud-native 5G SA networks, operators will be able to deliver high quality voice services without having to rely on LTE as anchor. The addition of VoNR to the superior data transmission quality of 5G technology will allow customers to enjoy voice and data services in parallel. VoNR is therefore expected to play a role in many data services enabled by 5G, from enhancements to voice quality in existing services to completely new services around immersive video conferencing and augmented or virtual reality.

“High quality and seamless voice calling remains a must-have service for our customers in the 5G era. The addition of 5G VoNR can be a differentiator for next generation immersive applications that integrate high speed 5G data with high definition audio,” says Alex Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “Our collaboration with best-in-class partners to validate end-to-end 5G VoNR interoperability is an important step towards the future of 5G voice services for our customers.

Jan Karlsson, Senior Vice President and Head of Digital Services, Ericsson, says, “The end-to-end 5G voice over NR going live with the first call in Deutsche Telekom network further demonstrates the strength and recognition of our cloud native 5G Core network for standalone 5G networks.”

Marc Erhardt, Head of Cloud and Network Services in the Customer Team Deutsche Telekom, Nokia says, “Voice communication remains a key feature also in the 5G world. Subscribers demand high-quality voice services and voice also plays a role in many of the new data services enabled by 5G. Successful 5G strategies therefore must include a plan for embedding voice into 5G services, and the IMS core will be key for this. Our participation in this successful trial is the latest validation reflecting the strong capabilities of the Nokia IP Multimedia Subsystem and Telephony Application Server.”

“This achievement is a step forward in realizing the full potential of 5G for consumers and industries. The capabilities of mature 5G networks will bring significant benefits to end-users as well as produce a plethora of innovative new services and applications,” says Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president and president, Qualcomm Europe/MEA, Qualcomm Europe, Inc.

“Both the Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G and the 5G smartphone form factor test device used in this activity are powered by Snapdragon 780G and 888 5G Mobile Platforms with Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems respectively which support a wide range of 5G capabilities including both 5G VoNR and 5G SA.”

“Galaxy 5G devices are already changing the way we communicate and how we experience the world around us,” says KJ Kim, EVP and Head of Mobile R&D Office, Mobile Communications Business, Samsung Electronics. “Samsung’s longstanding partnership with Deutsche Telekom continues to lead the growth of 5G and as Galaxy S21 5G comes with next generation 5G VoNR, we look forward to giving more people access to innovative mobile experiences.”

“Close collaboration along 5G ecosystem is crucial to unlock the true potential of 5G.” Says James Munn, Head of Global Carrier Operations, Xiaomi. “Combining new 5G services, such as VoNR, with our world-class 5G smartphones will ensure we are able to offer the best possible experience to our customers.”

To achieve this 5G VoNR breakthrough Deutsche Telekom, together with Nokia and Ericsson, has established the 5G Standalone network infrastructure in test mode at Deutsche Telekom’s lab in Warsaw, Poland, where testing and engineering is conducted on behalf of the entire Group.

The setup includes the integration of a 5G Core (5GC) from Ericsson and an IMS (IP Multimedia Subsystem) from Nokia, whereby the IMS core provides voice as a 5G application service. The transmission was tested over 5G NR Standalone (SA) Radio Access Technology from both Ericsson and Nokia. The voice calls were completed using the Samsung Galaxy S21 5G, Xiaomi Mi 11 Lite 5G, and a 5G smartphone form factor test device powered by the Snapdragon 780G and 888 5G Mobile Platforms with Snapdragon 5G Modem-RF Systems.

References:

https://www.telekom.com/en/media/media-information/archive/world-first-end-to-end-multivendor-5g-voice-over-nr-call-628746

https://laboratories.telekom.com/

https://www.mobileeurope.co.uk/press-wire/13592-deutsche-telekom-launches-5g-testbed-in-warsaw