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
Deutsche Telekom (DT) is rounding out 2020 with an upbeat announcement on its achievements and ambitions in 5G and FTTH. The largest telco in Germany highlighted progress in the rollout of 5G and uptake of the technology in its home market. Two-thirds of the population can use 5G, which was its target figure for the end of year, as outlined in the summer, with 45,000 5G-capable antennas deployed.
Two thirds of people in Germany can now use 5G on the Telekom network. 45,000 antennas are already transmitting on 5G. Here too, Deutsche Telekom intends to continue expanding rapidly. In the coming year, the 80 percent mark for population coverage is to be reached with 5G. By 2025, it should be 99 percent – as announced.
“Never before have we been able to set up a new network technology faster than now with 5G. The fact that just over a year after the frequency auction, two-thirds of the population can already use 5G is the fastest expansion in the history of mobile communications. Telekom is the 5G engine in Germany. And 2020 was clearly the 5G year,” said DT CEO
With 5G, Deutsche Telekom is combining expansionan. in two frequency bands. On the high-reach 2.1 GHz frequency, high mobile bandwidths will be brought to rural areas in particular. For example, the offshore island of Helgoland is now also being supplied with 5G. The 3.6 GHz frequency provides high-speed 5G where many people move around in a small area, such as in large cities. It is now also used at Frankfurt Airport. The technology will also be installed at Berlin’s BER airport. New are also the 5G Highspeed antennas in Bremen, Hanover and Nuremberg. This means that 13 major cities are already benefiting from 5G in gigabit speed.
“Telekom keeps its promises. This applies in particular to network expansion. Right now, the Telekom network is proving its worth. It was the right decision to put fiber optic in every street and thus to enable fast networks from Telekom for over 80 percent of all households. Home offices are possible throughout the country. Now comes the next step: Fiber optic to the home and 5G. Here too, we have a plan that we are working through step by step. Despite Corona, our expansion is running at full speed,” says Deutsche Telekom CEO Tim Höttges. “And to make sure that everyone in Germany is part of it in the future, we are now really getting going. To achieve this, we have been investing around five and a half billion euros a year in Germany for years. Most of it will go into our network.”
The telco also revealed that every other contract or contract extension it sells now includes a 5G device, a figure that suggests users are starting to embrace the technology.
“2020 was clearly the 5G year,” said Srini Gopalan, who took over as head of Deutsche Telekom in Germany just over a month ago. Coverage of two-thirds of the population is certainly a significant milestone.
“We are building for digitization in Germany. The better the framework conditions for investment, the smoother the fiber-optic expansion will run. New technology and new times also require new and flexible answers,” says Tim Höttges. “What additionally helps us with the expansion are, for example, quick approvals. On the other hand, the acceptance of alternative laying methods beyond civil engineering would simplify and accelerate many things. But it also requires a clear commitment from the competition to FTTH. This is a task for society as a whole that we must tackle together. We too have learned our lesson and are focusing much more strongly on cooperation, especially with local suppliers.”
Deutsche Telekom has rolled out FTTH to around 2 million households in Germany, having added somewhere between half a million and 600,000 in 2020: its description of the number of households added varied in the announcement. Last year it rolled out full fiber to 270,000 homes. Going forward, DT is shooting for 2 million homes added per year.
“FTTH is the key to the next surge in digitization. We have revolutionized our processes to achieve this,” says Srini Gopalan, member of the Deutsche Telekom Board of Management responsible for Germany. “Our Fiber Factory is now really taking off. This means we are bringing the fiber directly to where it will be needed more and more in the future: In households, businesses and schools. In the city and in the country.”