Andrew Wooden of telecoms.com talked with Mavenir’s SVP of business development John Baker and CMO Stefano Cantarelli to gauge how industry is feeling towards OpenRAN. Here are a few quotes:
“Clearly the (OpenRAN) train has left the station, there’s a lot of buzz about OpenRAN – it’s back to the haves and have nots,” Baker told us. “I see a lot of interest from network operators and a lot of interest from the component suppliers. But on the other side of it, about [Nokia’s recent statement about OpenRAN] – they’re full of it. Because they’re a startup in OpenRAN themselves but are not doing anything. They’re trying to pass on a message that the OpenRAN community is confused, that there are no real OpenRAN players out there, and they’re trying to position themselves as the real OpenRAN player. Digging underneath that, we’re having to call out the Nokia’s and Ericsson’s for confusing the story and trying to keep the confusion running around the marketplace, about the status of OpenRAN.”
“Ericsson has been clear right up front that [they’re] not going to participate in OpenRAN. They name their products as Cloud RAN but you can’t mix and match, so they don’t they don’t meet the OpenRAN requirements. I stand very firm that unless you’ve got two suppliers interworked, then you haven’t got OpenRAN.” Of course, this author agrees 100%!
Regarding Nokia, Baker said: “We’ve been asking for the last two years, every month almost, we’re ready to interwork, when are you ready? And they never get there. So our view is Nokia doesn’t have anything, they’re just trying to protect an old silicon strategy. And that’s their problem. They’ve had two failed attempts, in my opinion, of their silicon strategy – first time they got it completely wrong. Second time they got it too late for the industry because software is now replacing where they are with silicon. I think at the end of the day those two logos are going to disappear in the distance.”
Cantarelli added: “I think Ericsson and Nokia are not stupid. They know OpenRAN is the future, it’s just at the beginning they didn’t think about it, and now they’re a bit late. So they’re protecting their legacy. And they’re waiting for when they’re going to be ready, so it’s purely a delaying technique.”
Some observers think OpenRAN is immediate, and of singular importance, but others don’t think it will be as disruptive as that, at least not right now. This author is in the latter camp. We’ve explained why many times why: without implementation standards there is no interoperability!
Australian rural carrier Field Solutions Holdings (FSG) has selected Nokia and Mavenir as its primary technology vendors to build Australia’s fourth mobile network.
As part of the deal, the technology partners will supply 4G and 5G radio access networks and the mobile core network. Mavenir will provide 4G/5G Converged Packet core, as well as IMS voice and messaging services.
FSG plans to deliver 4G and 5G services in rural, regional and remote areas of the country. FSG will also be delivering private 4G LTE and 5G service offerings. FSG, has secured 5G spectrum holdings to ensure that rural, regional and remote Australia is not left behind in the rollout of 5G services.
FSG CEO Andrew Roberts, said FSG’s 5G service will cover 85% of Australia’s landmass.
“FSG has run a comprehensive 6-month RFP process to select the most appropriate technology partners for the rollout of the Regional Australia Network. FSG has selected these partners to ensure we have the cost-effective, future proof and globally proven technology platform needed to deliver Australia’s 4th mobile network.”
“The demand for private 4G and 5G networks is gaining momentum, FSG will be delivering cost-effective, carrier-grade private solutions for agri-business, mining and government. We expect to be announcing several private 4G and 5G private network deployments in the coming weeks,” said FSG CEO Andrew Roberts.
“Together with our new partners, Nokia and Mavenir, FSG is primed to deliver connectivity to regions, whilst offering capability for carriers to join the solution using Active Neutral host RAN, inbound roaming or ‘old school’ passive co-location on our purpose-built infrastructure,” Roberts added.
By embracing new models, the cost to deliver these solutions can be kept to a minimum, further supporting the committee’s desire to ensure that affordability is not forgotten. FSG are in the process of delivering 19 new place-based networks across Australia. These networks, comprising over 100 sites, each of which will be 4G and 5G capable, Neutral Host and Roaming ready when delivered in FY 23/24. “The Regional Australia Network is a dedicated network supporting rural Australia. Today, we operate Australia’s largest non-NBN fixed wireless network, which delivers fixed wireless broadband across rural, regional and remote Australia. The Regional Australia Network (RAN(TM)) will see these current and all new networks being enabled to delivery 4G and 5G data and voice services, fixed wireless broadband together with NB-IoT and CatM1 services”, Roberts stated.
FSG also said that the company is in the process of delivering 19 new “place-based” networks across Australia. These networks comprise more than 100 sites, each of which will be 4G and 5G capable, neutral host and roaming-ready when delivered in fiscal year 2023/24.
Anna Perrin, Nokia’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, said, “As a world-leading provider of mobile technology, we have championed the development of Neutral Host networks around the world and we’re excited to bring this global expertise to our partnership with FSG. Supporting the creation of new and innovative solutions and business models for rural and remote coverage across Australia.”
“Mavenir is excited to partner with FSG to deliver a cost-effective, future proof and globally proven 4G/5G Cloud-native Converged Packet Core, IMS and messaging services to enable Australia’s 4th mobile network,” said Dereck Quinlan, Mavenir regional VP.
“Mavenir continues to drive forward with advanced cloud-native solutions that our customers and the industry recognise. Our Cloud-native Converged Packet Core solution embraces a disruptive technology architecture and business model that drive network agility, deployment flexibility, and service velocity,” Quinlan added.
Over the next 18 months, FSG, in partnership with the Australian Federal Government and mobile operator Optus, will be trialing the deployment of what it says is Australia’s first “Active Neutral Host” network. The neutral-host model enables FSG to build and operate infrastructure and a single set of electronics that all mobile network operators in Australia can utilize and will be ready for PSMB services, the company says.
“The more carriers subscribe to the model, the more valuable and impactful it is for Australian Rural communities and Australia as a whole. We look forward to welcoming the other Australian Carriers to the program, to make the neutral host model a reality for rural, regional and remote Australia,” Roberts added.
Upstart network software provider Mavenir, announced today that it completed the first data and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call across a containerized 4G small cell Open RAN solution in a Vodafone lab environment. The completed tests are the latest steps forward to delivering an open and vendor-interoperable 4G connectivity solution for small to medium-sized office locations.
Having first started work on a containerized indoor enterprise connectivity solution in January 2021, Vodafone has completed tests for an important stage of the technology roadmap. The plug-and-play small cell equipment can ensure comprehensive mobile coverage in every corner of the office. The solution will provide 4G coverage initially, making use of radio hardware from Sercomm and software from Mavenir (Open RAN). Containerization means that software can be seamlessly transferred between equipment, platforms, and applications. Wind River provided its Containers as a Service (CaaS) software, part of Wind River Studio.
This demonstration of a containerized solution is a major milestone in the evolution of connectivity equipment away from physical infrastructure to a digital cloud-based environment. Containerization provides greater flexibility for customers, but also significant benefits in terms of speed and cost of deployment.
Open RAN technology separates software from hardware, meaning more flexibility for mobile operators and customers. This approach aims to see many companies providing the components that make up a mobile network site, where previously one vendor would have delivered the whole solution. The technology is controversial, but accepted by many as a potential disruptor for the telecommunications industry. Vodafone claims to be one of the industry leaders in supporting the development of the Open RAN vendor ecosystem.
Whereas much of the focus for Open RAN has been directed towards network infrastructure deployment on mobile sites throughout the UK, the technology can be implemented in an enterprise environment to support local connectivity requirements. As an interoperable and standardized (there are no standards for Open RAN!) technology, Open RAN solutions can be integrated with little disruption in a “plug and play” manner, interoperable with other Open RAN compliant vendors.
Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “Open RAN is opening doors to simplified and intuitive connectivity solutions. For our wider network deployment strategy, Open RAN is enabling us to work with a wider pool of suppliers and to avoid vendor lock-in scenarios that might prevent us from taking advantage of the latest innovations. The same could be said for enterprise connectivity solutions.”
“From the moment Open RAN is deployed in an office environment, customers are no-longer locked into a single upgrade path. Working alongside Vodafone, customers can be more flexible in how connectivity solutions are adapted and upgraded as demands evolve in the future.”
Stefano Cantarelli, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Mavenir, said; “Cloud Native and Open Solutions are becoming the new reality of the mobile world, and these include Radio Access and its containerized implementation. Open vRAN is a very flexible architecture that can serve any type of segment and Mavenir is really pleased to work with Vodafone in the enterprise business and achieved another first together. It is an opportunity to show that automated and AI controlled systems will simplify life to business and industry.”
“Mavenir is delighted to partner with Vodafone in Open RAN and to work in the U.K. on their radio network transformation initiative, proving the extreme flexibility of Open vRAN,” Virtyt Koshi, SVP of Mavenir EMEA, said. “We are particularly proud in working in the field within the Vodafone commercial network and in the Newbury Open RAN Test and Verification lab, supporting the Vodafone effort to boost the ecosystem.”
Moving forward, Vodafone and Mavenir will focus on finalizing the packaging and automation of the solution before beginning trials with selected customers.
Montana service provider Triangle Communications is swapping out Huawei gear from its network and implementing 4G/5G open RAN products from upstart tech vendor Mavenir.
Late October is the target timeline as to when the FCC’s rip and replace reimbursement program opens. However, Triangle Communications is already at work to overhaul equipment for its fixed wireless access service. Texas-based Mavenir was chosen for Triangle’s entire network replacement and will act as systems integrator for the project, which qualifies for the FCC funding.
“This is a complete network swap out, so everything in the entire network from core to RAN [radio access network] and replacing it all with virtualized solutions,” Mavenir’s Sr VP John Baker said in an interview with Fierce Wireless.
Mavenir is providing a containerized evolved packet core (vEPC) IMS, open virtualized RAN (Open vRAN) compliant with O-RAN Alliance specifications for open interfaces, and the Mavenir Webscale platform that will enable Triangle to run applications on private, public or hybrid clouds.
It’s deploying the O-RAN Alliance 7.2 open interfaces for the 4G-LTE radios. All of the equipment will also be 5G ready. Triangle is using band 12/700 MHz spectrum.
Once Triangle gets equipment that’s virtualized up and running, Mavenir said the operator’s ability to respond to changes and the market should be significantly faster. It’s notable that the Triangle is planning to deploy open RAN architecture and technology.
In filings with the FCC, Triangle said that it doesn’t see any disadvantages in taking an open RAN approach. According to an April filing (PDF), the service provider’s own research “found ORAN equipment to be competitively priced and fully functional compared to legacy vendors’ equipment options which lock you into always using their equipment.”
“This will be the first network that will be deployed using Mavenir designed radios,” Baker said, and the first of several Mavenir-branded commissioned radios the software vendor plans to introduce over the next couple of quarters. Mavenir has done radios before, but it’s the first the vendor commissioned, designed, manufactured, and deployed in the U.S. market and for U.S. frequency bands.
As an open RAN vendor, and vocal champion, Mavenir has been clear on its stance of the need for U.S.-based radio suppliers in a market currently dominated by Ericsson and Nokia as RAN vendors.
Triangle and Mavenir did not disclose the value of their new deal, but the companies said Triangle’s core network swap-out is underway and that work on the radio access network (RAN) would stretch into next year.
Perhaps the most noteworthy element in Mavenir’s deal with Triangle is that it encompasses both the company’s hardware and software. Mavenir entered the RAN hardware business (mostly radios which are outsourced to Asian suppliers) in order to complement its existing software offerings.
Mavenir last year described its new open RAN hardware strategy as an attempt to “break the incumbent’s monopoly in the global market.” But the company’s efforts also highlight the complexity of the open RAN market considering open RAN technologies are intended to allow operators to mix and match equipment from a variety of vendors rather than buying everything from one source.
This could be the first of many U.S. ongoing “rip and replace” program as the FCC’s program to eliminate Huawei equipment gathers steam.
Triangle Communications Serving Area in Montana:
Triangle Telephone Cooperative (TTC) is a company owned by its members. The cooperative was incorporated on March 24, 1953 in Havre, Montana by rural residents of Central Montana. In 1994, TTC purchased 13 exchanges from US West (now CenturyLink/Lumen Technologies) and formed a subsidiary named Central Montana Communication (CMC). Triangle Communications is the name TTC and its subsidiaries have chosen to do business as since 2008.
Less than one month after Dish Network disclosed it is collaborating with Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) for its “cloud native” 5G core network [1.], Mavenir has announced support for deployments and integration of its “cloud-native” telecom network functions with telco infrastructure solutions on AWS.
Mavenir’s collaboration with AWS allows Communications Service Providers (CSPs) to deploy Mavenir’s 4G and 5G products and applications with AWS’s computing infrastructure, state of the art container deployment and management technologies, and big data analytics services.
Note 1. Both Mavenir and AWS are vendors for Dish Network’s (DISH) greenfield 5G wireless network which is comprised of a virtualized RAN (vRAN) and a “cloud native” 5G core network (which includes highly touted functions such as network slicing, orchestration/automation, virtualization, etc).
Mavenir’s “cloud-native” Open RAN, 5G packet core, IMS, and messaging will be combined with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) anywhere, supporting AWS Outposts. There will also be options for existing deployments to migrate Mavenir’s IMS core, voice, and messaging to Amazon EKS and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) infrastructure.
AWS will also be able to run Mavenir’s orchestration and network slicing solutions. The two companies will combine their technologies to centrally manage data for network-wide insights and optimization. Mavenir and AWS will also work together to provide private networks and edge deployments.
The solution is designed to scale and leverages the same tools and technologies offered by AWS to enterprise applications today. These tools are the backbone for visibility and automation for any AWS-based offering and generally referred to as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS).
That, in effect, results in offloading some of the telco application business to cloud functions. Mavenir says that will reduce complexity, put service providers at par with organizations which are realizing cost savings from cloud migrations without losing insight, performance, and control on their networks.
Opinion: The above claims remain to be proven! Time will tell. However, this partnership provides a well respected host environment (AWS) for Mavenir’s cloud resident 4G/5G software. That certainly lowers the risk for service providers that want to deploy Mavenir’s products and applications.
Another key element from this collaboration is the enablement of Private Networks and Edge deployments on AWS, powered by Mavenir’s Digital Enablement platform. With a digital app store for enterprise and various industry 4.0 applications such as IVA, AR/VR, IIoT and Robotics control, Mavenir’s Edge AI application suite is empowering an ecosystem of developers, service providers, partners, and enterprises to create and deploy applications in AWS to power digitalization and industry 4.0 with 5G.
This collaboration also lowers the network deployment time and cost for Mobile Network Operators and enterprises equally fulfilling use cases of either adding 5G and edge capabilities to an existing network or a greenfield 4G/5G network launch leveraging public clouds.
“The collaboration with Mavenir and AWS allows us to build out our 5G network and messaging platforms in a true cloud-native manner, harnessing the speed and agility that the AWS cloud brings along with Mavenir’s expertise in deploying and operating cloud-native network functions,” said Sidd Chenumolu, Vice President of Technology Development, DISH. “Together, we will enable our customers to take full advantage of the potential of 5G, reimagining wireless connectivity and giving our customers the ability to customize their network experience.”
“Working with AWS enables us to bring new customer-focused 5G use cases and 5G deployments to the market faster and with unique capabilities to realize true 5G potential,” said Bejoy Pankajakshan, Mavenir’s Chief Strategy Officer. “Mavenir’s solutions are designed to support full public cloud as well as hybrid cloud deployments.”
“We’re delighted to collaborate with Mavenir to offer voice and messaging solutions for core network and RAN customers along with AI/ML solutions for orchestration and observability.” said Amir Rao, General Manager Telco Solution Portfolio and Tech Alliances, AWS. “Together, we are providing true cloud native benefits to CSP customers, combining Mavenir’s expertise in the NFV market with the global scale of the AWS infrastructure to meet industry challenges of agility, scaling, slicing, and resiliency.”
Mavenir’s 4G and 5G deployments on AWS provides unique capabilities, including:
- Integration of Mavenir’s cloud-native Open RAN (vDU, vCU-CP, vCU-UP), Converged 4G/5G Packet Core, IMS, and Messaging with Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) anywhere supporting AWS Outposts.
- Use of AWS platform services and tools to deploy and manage cloud native network functions.
- Options for existing deployments to migrate Mavenir’s IMS core, voice, and messaging solutions to Amazon EKS and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) infrastructure.
- Mavenir’s Orchestration and Network Slicing solutions to manage hybrid cloud workloads running on AWS.
- Adoption of AWS for centrally managed telco workloads on far-edge, network edge and core simultaneously.
- Deployment of Mavenir’s standards compliant observability framework, RIC, NWDAF, AIOps and Analytics platform in AWS to collect the data from various AWS nodes in a centrally managed data lake and process the data using AI/ML for network wide insights and optimization.
- Integration of Mavenir’s telecom adaptation layer (Telco PaaS) as a common open source-based platform adaptation layer designed for telco specific workloads to support various carrier grade requirements on top of Amazon EKS and AWS PaaS functions.
Chart Courtesy of Amazon Web Services
Mavenir, an upstart end-to-end cloud-native network software provider and Xilinx, a leader in adaptive computing, announced today the companies are collaborating to bring to market a unified 4G/5G O-RAN massive MIMO (mMIMO) portfolio to enable Open RAN deployments. The first mMIMO 64TRX joint solution is expected to be available in Q4 2021.
Working together, the two companies have successfully completed end-to-end integration of a first-generation mMIMO solution using Open RAN principles. Held at the Mavenir Lab in Bangalore, India, the integration covered multiple deployment scenarios and was evaluated by six CSPs, all leading global operators. Mavenir delivered the Virtualized RAN (vRAN) support for mMIMO, including Core Network, CU and DU, with Xilinx providing the Category B O-RAN Radio Unit.
“This integration demonstrates an efficient Open RAN massive MIMO solution to achieve diversification of the telecommunications supply chain,” says Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO, Mavenir. “This is an important milestone in the delivery of open and interoperable interfaces enabling the deployment of mMIMO in high density, high mobile traffic metro areas.”
“We were early proponents of Open RAN technology along with Mavenir and actively led in standards development in the industry through many field trials around the world,” said Liam Madden, executive vice president and general manager, Wired and Wireless Group at Xilinx. “With the investment we have done on our market-leading wireless radio technology and massive MIMO R&D, we are excited to collaborate with Mavenir to bring our collective technology and radio system expertise together that will accelerate the deployment of market leading 5G O-RAN massive MIMO radio solutions.”
With history of leadership success in various 4G and 5G network deployments worldwide, the companies are jointly developing the next generation of mMIMO products which will bring the world’s first O-RAN compliant 64TRX mMIMO products that support up to 400MHz instantaneous bandwidth in a compact form factor. Mavenir’s vRAN software supports Multi-User MIMO with up to 16 layers, advanced receiver algorithms, full digital beamforming – all running on Mavenir’s open and flexible cloud-native platform, as well as on other cloud platforms.
These products will leverage Xilinx’s technology platform including RFSoC DFE and Versal AI for advanced beamforming, delivering a fully integrated hardware and software O-RAN compliant mMIMO solution.
The wireless industry’s focus is squarely set on massive MIMO as mid-band spectrum 5G deployments continue, particularly following the record high mid-band 5G spectrum auction that concluded in the U.S. earlier this year. Massive MIMO is especially important in mid-band 5G networks because it allows operators to densify network coverage, increase capacity and coverage, and reduce the need for incremental outdoor sites, all of which translates to less labor and lower costs.
Mavenir and Xilinx have not yet disclosed the specifications for the equipment, but claim the equipment at the top of the portfolio will feature a 64-antenna array for transmitting and receiving signals and support up to 400 megahertz of bandwidth. The initial supply of radios will support C-band spectrum in the U.S., and the companies plan to later support mid-band spectrum for 5G deployments in Europe, the Middle East, and India.
The vendors are coming together to prove that “open RAN massive MIMO radios are a reality, and we will deliver that to the market. Our first open RAN massive MIMO radio will be labs ready by early Q4 and field-trial ready by the end of the year,” said Gilles Garcia, a senior director at Xilinx.
“5G Open RAN has significant momentum in the market with ABI Research forecasting network vendor spending to reach $10 billion by 2026-27 and then surpass traditional RAN at $30 billion by 2030,” said Dimitris Mavrakis, senior research director of 5G at ABI Research.
“As Mavenir and Xilinx continue to work together to accelerate O-RAN-based massive MIMO adoption, their solutions will be well-timed to serve this high-growth market with the higher spectral efficiency, performance, power efficiency and cost needed as 5G demand intensifies.”
Mavenir and Altiostar are among a number of networking software start-ups focusing on delivering Open RAN solutions to wireless network operators . Both companies specialize in cloud telecoms software – so one would expect them to be competing with each other. However, they have decided to collaborate to deliver a wide portfolio of radios based on OpenRAN principles for the US market.
Both companies will be supporting the development of radios through third party OEM’s that will be based on O-RAN open interfaces and will address the frequencies of Tier-1 and Regional/Rural operators in the US.
The two companies will NOT design or build the radios themselves, which is not within the scope of networking software startups. In essence, they will be using O-RAN compliant radios built by (mostly Asian) OEMs/ODMs- many of which are members of the O-RAN Alliance. One has to wonder, however, why such an agreement is necessary? Why aren’t O-RAN compliant interface specifications complete and well enough accepted to ensure multi-vendor interoperability?
The joint press release answers those questions:
“Very few companies are participating in the current (OpenRAN) supply chain and mostly offering proprietary radio solutions lacking open interfaces that are not interoperable with other network elements. In addition, the requirement to procure products from trusted vendors in the US market is also causing operators to reconsider supplier options. OpenRAN radios provide new possibilities for operators to implement a secure, cost effective and best of breed solution as networks move to 5G and beyond.”
Parallel Wireless CEO Steve Papa commented to Light Reading that Open RAN (aka O-RAN) “will only be as good as the radios that are available,” he said. “If Ericsson and Nokia are struggling to be competitive with Huawei’s radios, we should not expect O-RAN to magically solve this problem by using the same semiconductors available to Ericsson and Nokia at present.”
Papa blames a lack of U.S. semiconductor innovation for Huawei’s lead in radios. He has repeatedly urged U.S. authorities to pump an extra $1 billion into radio semiconductor research. He has even suggested using the $1 billion the US recently fined Ericsson for corruption, a remark that is unlikely to win him many friends in Stockholm.
As part of this effort, it is also planned to have these radios available to support the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act that was signed into law on March 12, 2020.
Public Law No: 116-124 (03/12/2020)
Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act of 2019
This bill establishes (1) a mechanism to prevent communications equipment or services that pose a national security risk from entering U.S. networks, and (2) a program to remove any such equipment or services currently used in U.S. networks.
Specifically, the bill prohibits the use of certain federal funds to obtain communications equipment or services from a company that poses a national security risk to U.S. communications networks. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) must publish and maintain a list of such equipment or services.
Each communications provider must submit an annual report to the FCC regarding whether it has purchased, rented, leased, or otherwise obtained any prohibited equipment and, if so, provide a detailed justification for such action.
The bill also establishes the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Reimbursement Program to supply small communications providers (i.e., providers with 2 million or fewer customers) with funds to offset the cost of removing prohibited equipment or services from their networks and replacing it with more secure communications equipment or services.
In addition, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration must establish a program to share information regarding supply chain security risks with trusted communications providers and suppliers.
For a short video describing O-RAN’s progress, see www.o-ran.org/videos
“Altiostar has been at the forefront of the OpenRAN movement that is now being embraced by mobile operators around the world,” said Ashraf Dahod, CEO of Altiostar Networks. “Our collaboration with Mavenir on OpenRAN radios will ensure operators in the US have a truly open end-to-end infrastructure that will be cost effective and allows them to grow their business.”
“We are collaborating with Altiostar to realize the full promise of OpenRAN. Our Radios will have O-RAN compliant interfaces and will interwork with other vendors’ solutions,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO of Mavenir. “I encourage other companies in the OpenRAN Policy Coalition to open their radios and ensure a broad supply of radios with open interfaces that are interoperable with third party equipment.”
Mavenir and Altiostar have committed to work together to develop a full set of FCC banded radios to be available starting June 2020, with a complete set of radios in the market by Q1 2021. The parties are also committed to making these OpenRAN radios available to be sourced by all OpenRAN vendors and system integrators, widening the OpenRAN supply chain in the US market to meet the frequency band needs of Tier-1 and Regional/Rural operators.
Members of the Open RAN Policy Coalition include Airspan, Altiostar, AT&T, AWS, Cisco, CommScope, Dell, DISH Network, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Mavenir, Microsoft, NEC Corporation, NewEdge Signal Solutions, Nokia, NTT, Oracle, Parallel Wireless, Qualcomm, Rakuten Mobile, Samsung Electronics America, Telefónica, US Cellular, US Ignite, Verizon, VMWare, Vodafone, World Wide Technology, and XCOM-Labs.
Other software start-ups that are pursuing Open RAN include Parallel Wireless, Robin io., WiSig Networks, and several others. This author has talked with principals of Robin.io and WiSig who have been invited to write guest articles about their work for the IEEE Techblog.
Below is the O-RAN reference architecture model:
Mavenir is the industry’s only end-to-end, cloud-native Network Software and Solutions/Systems Integration Provider for 4G and 5G, focused on accelerating software network transformation for Communications Service Providers (CSPs). Mavenir offers a comprehensive end-to-end product portfolio across every layer of the network infrastructure stack. From 5G application/service layers to packet core and RAN, Mavenir leads the way in evolved, cloud-native networking solutions enabling innovative and secure experiences for end users. Leveraging innovations in IMS (VoLTE, VoWiFi, Advanced Messaging (RCS)), Private Networks as well as vEPC, 5G Core and OpenRAN vRAN, Mavenir accelerates network transformation for more than 250+ CSP customers in over 140 countries, which serve over 50% of the world’s subscribers.
Mavenir embraces disruptive, innovative technology architectures and business models that drive service agility, flexibility, and velocity. With solutions that propel NFV evolution to achieve web-scale economics, Mavenir offers solutions to help CSPs with cost reduction, revenue generation, and revenue protection. www.mavenir.com
Altiostar provides a 4G and 5G open virtualized RAN software solution that supports open interfaces and disaggregates the hardware from the software to build a multi-vendor web-scale network. This solution supports indoor and outdoor massive MIMO, as well as macro and small cells, enabling interference management, carrier aggregation and dual connectivity to improve the efficiency of the network. It also enhances the Quality of Experience for the end user, while providing broadband speeds. Operators can add intelligence, quickly adapt the software for different services and automate operations to rapidly scale the network and reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The Altiostar open vRAN solution has been deployed globally, including the world’s first cloud native-mobile network with Rakuten in Japan. www.altiostar.com
NEC Corp. and Mavenir entered a collaboration agreement to deliver a 5G Open virtualized RAN (vRAN) platform to the Japanese enterprise market. This move will open up Local/Private 5G Network opportunities for enterprises, regional authorities and other organizations, according to the companies.
Under this collaboration, NEC and Mavenir said they will jointly work on 5G Open vRAN and Local 5G business developments and create a simple and cost-efficient ecosystem in the market. The collaboration will bring together NEC’s expertise in IT, network and system integration and Mavenir’s cloud-native network technology.
Moving to a virtual RAN (vRAN) may offer operators important benefits, including a reduced capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) over time. Additionally, RAN transformation can be boosted by network functions virtualization (NFV) technology, which changes the typical network architecture from hardware-based to software-defined infrastructure and decouples the baseband functions from the underlying hardware. In turn, the architecture is more flexible, agile, and easier to maintain, allowing operators to launch new services to market faster than ever before.
Cisco created and announced Open vRAN at Mobile World Congress 2018. Conversations with key network operator customers, as well as our partners, made it apparent that something needed to change and they thought we could help. Since then, it’s been a whirlwind ride – working with customers to better define this future and the key elements, building solutions with our partners, innovating in the market to explore new service designs, and contributing to the process of defining industry specifications.
On that last topic, sometimes there is a little confusion between Open vRAN and O-RAN due to the similar names and similar principles. The naming similarity was coincidental, but not surprising, given both are fairly descriptive of the opportunity. O-RAN (Open RAN Alliance) describes themselves well on their website: “The O-RAN Alliance was founded by operators to clearly define requirements and help build a supply chain eco-system to realize its objectives.” They have extensive details available on their website and in their whitepaper.
Mavenir delivers an Open vRAN platform that provides strategic differentiation by enabling multi-source Remote Radio Units (RRUs) to interwork with the virtualized, containerized, Cloud Base Band software over Ethernet Fronthaul (FH), using the O-RAN open interface, overcoming the traditional constraints of the proprietary walled garden specifications used by the other traditional equipment vendors.
“We are excited to collaborate with NEC, as we move together toward open, virtualized networks,” said Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir’s President and CEO. “Mavenir’s vRAN and NEC’s radio naturally come together to quickly and easily bring new and innovative solutions to the Japanese Enterprise Market.”
NEC actively promotes an open, virtualized infrastructure model in support of the 5G era, using IT, orchestration and network expertise. Moreover, the NEC ecosystem contributes to vRAN via inter-operability testing between multiple vendors’ equipment that is compliant with O-RAN fronthaul specifications.
“The combination of advanced assets and expertise from Mavenir and NEC will enable us to offer end-to-end one-stop 5G Open vRAN and Local/Private 5G solutions, including an advanced 5G network solution for the ecosystem, and vertical solutions that meet the needs of a great variety of Enterprise customers.” said Nozomu Watanabe, senior vice president at NEC.
This joint collaboration will continue to provide value-added products for customers worldwide. An overview of this collaboration will be introduced during MWC Barcelona 2020 (assuming the event is not cancelled as is rumored now) at the NEC booth, Hall 3, 3M30.
Mavenir is the industry’s only end-to-end, cloud-native Network Software Provider focused on accelerating software network transformation and redefining network economics for Communications Service Providers (CSPs) by offering a comprehensive end-to-end product portfolio across every layer of the network infrastructure stack. From 5G application/service layers to packet core and RAN, Mavenir leads the way in evolved, cloud-native networking solutions enabling innovative and secure experiences for end users. Leveraging industry-leading firsts in VoLTE, VoWiFi, Advanced Messaging (RCS), Multi-ID, vEPC and OpenRAN vRAN, Mavenir accelerates network transformation for more than 250+ CSP customers in over 140 countries, which serve over 50% of the world’s subscribers.
We embrace disruptive, innovative technology architectures and business models that drive service agility, flexibility, and velocity. With solutions that propel NFV evolution to achieve webscale economics, Mavenir offers solutions to help CSPs with revenue generation, cost reduction, and revenue protection. Learn more at www.mavenir.com