Cohere Technologies, Intel, Juniper Networks, Mavenir and VMware intend to collaborate to develop the industry’s first framework for a multi-generational (Multi-G), software-based Open RAN architecture. The Multi-G initiative would define frameworks, interfaces, interoperability testing, and evaluation criteria that would provide the interfaces to support full coexistence of 4G, 5G, and future waveforms.
Intel’s FlexRAN platform is used by most current virtualized RAN (vRAN) deployments; Mavenir has a strong presence in providing open RAN equipment and software; and Juniper Networks and VMware are both contributing their work with the RAN intelligent controller (RIC). Cohere’s contribution is through its Universal Spectrum Multiplier software that can be integrated by RAN vendors or as an “app” into a telco cloud platform.
Intel’s involvement in this initiative is significant from an industry perspective due to the breadth of FlexRAN adoption. It also puts the chip giant a step ahead of competitors like Qualcomm, Arm and AMD that are aggressively targeting the Open RAN silicon market.
The new Multi-G framework would disaggregate RAN intelligence and scheduling functions, enabling future code releases of Intel’s FlexRAN reference architecture to support higher capacity, software-defined deployments for 4G, 5G and next generation wireless waveforms and standards.
This effort would help drive higher performance and connectivity across satellite, private and ad-hoc networks, and autonomous vehicles, increasing new service and revenue opportunities for telecommunications and mobile operators.
“This is going to make the network programmable all the way from layer one to the highest layers of the architecture,” said Cohere Technologies’ CEO Ray Dolan. “It’s not that open RAN is incomplete or not vibrant or not working, it is.” Right now, it has opened most of the parts that are what I’ll say are less controversial than the E2 interface. It’s opened the radio interfaces and the antenna interfaces, and so it’s established. But it hasn’t established the proper E2 interfaces completely. And that’s widely accepted as a fact. And in order for, I believe, for open RAN to really achieve its full vision, it needs to open that E2 interface because that’s where the innovation will come. Because that’s where all of the complexity in the marketplace is.”
The E2 work basically taps into the near real-time xApps running in a RIC to monitor and optimize an operator’s RAN deployment – typically either a vRAN or open RAN – and across different spectrum bands. This in turn allows an operator to support more stringent service-level agreements (SLAs) and private network deployments that can generate more revenues.
Ahead of the group’s first meeting in May 2023, telecommunications leaders worldwide are already sharing support for the collaborative initiative:
“This commitment from Intel, Mavenir, Juniper Networks, and Cohere, with a software programmable L1 stack, is fully aligned with the vision of Open RAN and will bring us one step closer to the scale deployment of software-defined RAN,” said Yago Tenorio, Vodafone Fellow and Director of Network Architecture, and Chairman of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP). “This has huge potential for significant performance and capacity benefits for all existing cellular networks. We strongly endorse this initiative, and we look forward to seeing the critical interfaces published into the relevant O-RAN Alliance and TIP Working Groups.”
“Cohere’s Universal Spectrum Multiplier technology has the potential to unlock new architectural capabilities and opportunities for the RAN beyond today’s architecture,” said Iskra Nikolova, Network and Infrastructure Engineering Executive at Telstra. “We’re pleased to support this initiative and look forward to working with Cohere and the group to define the framework and accompanying critical interfaces.”
“A genuine Multi-G framework will enhance the benefits of Cohere’s Universal Spectrum Multiplier, strengthen Open RAN vendor flexibility down to the silicon layer, and allow old and new waveforms to coexist— beyond 5G,” said Mark McDonald, Bell’s Vice President, Wireless Access. “Bell looks forward to working with Cohere and partners later this year to further test this architecture.”
Hear from the Collaborators:
“This Multi-G framework, enabled by Intel FlexRAN – which is fully software programmable down to L1 – will enable faster O-RAN adoption and unlock new innovations,” said Sachin Katti, senior vice president and general manager of the Network and Edge Group at Intel Corporation.
“As the leading Open RAN partner, we’re excited to be part of the Multi-G initiative which promises to bring 4G and 5G spectral efficiencies gains not possible with incumbent solutions,” said Bejoy Pankajakshan, EVP-Chief Technology and Strategy Officer at Mavenir. “Unlike traditional DSS (Dynamic Spectrum Sharing) techniques which reduces 4G and 5G performance, with our Multi-G collaboration with Cohere and Intel, Mavenir can provide a true spectrum co-existence solution, which deploys 5G on the same spectrum assets as 4G dramatically improving the ROI per Hz on the existing 4G spectrum.”
“As more 5G deployments are underway, there is still a large installed base of 4G networks that can benefit from the intelligence, control and automation enabled by an Open RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) architecture,” said Raj Yavatkar, CTO of Juniper Networks. “Juniper Networks has already demonstrated innovative 4G and 5G use cases with our Juniper Non-RealTime RIC and Near-RealTime RIC that can provide more flexibility to network operators. We are excited to add our expertise and join the Multi-G framework initiative, which will not only help to accelerate Open RAN adoptions but will also spur further innovation across multiple generations of mobile networks to enhance the network operator experience.”
“VMware is already paving the way for more programmable and intelligent Open RAN networks with our VMware RIC and our Service Management Orchestration Framework (SMO) for end-to-end RAN automation, assurance and optimization,” said Sanjay Uppal, GM & SVP, Service Provider Business Unit, VMware. “We are pleased to join other industry leaders to pioneer in the development of the industry’s first framework for a Multi-G, software-programmable architecture that will further encourage innovation and fast-track the adoption of Open RAN globally.”
Open RAN Policy Coalition
“Defining new interfaces that supercharge developing and future networks is critical for the success of open networks,” said Diane Rinaldo, Executive Director of the Open RAN Policy Coalition. “This will foster innovation and add flexibility, which will improve our competitiveness.”
“We are pleased to work with world-class partners and operators to accelerate the deployment of Multi-G, open networks with significant performance improvements,” said Ray Dolan, CEO of Cohere Technologies. “Cohere is committed to a software-based, open architecture that can drive faster innovation and deliver critical revenue growth and profitability for the industry.”
About Cohere Technologies:
Cohere is the innovator of Universal Spectrum Multiplier (USM) software for 4G, 5G, and Multi-G O-RAN. USM improves mobile networks up to 2x by MU-MIMO, enabling existing devices in any FDD and TDD spectrum band. Cohere is the creator of the Orthogonal Time Frequency Space (OTFS) wireless system, and is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. (USA). Website: www.cohere-tech.com Twitter: @Cohere_MultiG
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