VMware paves a path for radio access network modernization
Apr 27, 2021
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Communication service providers (CSPs) are modernizing their networks as quickly as they can to bring new 5G services to customers. First with the core—the heart of the network. And now further out to the edge. They want to bring the benefits of the cloud to the parts of the network that connect mobile phones and other wireless devices back to the core. That’s why VMware (NYSE: VMW) is today announcing VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN. It is a platform that enables CSPs to virtualize radio access network (RAN) functions and implement an open RAN architecture.
“A modern, open, and disaggregated RAN offers CSPs the single best opportunity to rapidly monetize 5G services,” said
A Path for RAN Modernization
VMware Telco Cloud Platform lets CSPs quickly deploy and efficiently run virtualized network functions (VNFs) and containerized network functions (CNFs). And it lets them do so with agility and scalability across 5G networks. VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN takes the VMware Telco Cloud Platform for the core and extends it to the RAN. It helps CSPs virtualize RAN functions on a platform specifically optimized for the RAN and with support for Intel FlexRAN software reference architecture.
This same platform can also be used for Open RAN (O-RAN). It gives CSPs the flexibility to evolve to the future – from traditional RAN to virtualized RAN (vRAN) to O-RAN – without having to disrupt their operations or overhaul their network design.
“The transformation of the RAN will significantly change how operators purchase, construct, and maintain their mobile networks. It presents a significant economic opportunity and will allow for the introduction of new capabilities and expand the pool of solution providers. We forecast the convergence of openness and virtualization will generate around
Telco Cloud Platform RAN helps customers:
- Achieve cloud-first automation by programmatically provisioning network functions across distributed vRAN sites, no matter what workloads they host. It gives CSPs the flexibility and efficiency to deploy vRAN functions wherever they are needed. And it helps connect siloed parts of the network. When combined with consistent operations across the Telco Cloud, it simplifies operations and lets CSPs quickly scale and tailor their 5G services for specific enterprise use cases.
- Accelerate monetization by quickly introducing new 5G and edge services. Powered with VMware’s open ecosystem of partners and technologies, such as Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) and network slicing, which are faster and let CSPs more easily serve different industries and verticals.
- Keep networks safe as CSPs have a huge number of new vRAN sites and devices connecting to the RAN. It lets CSPs apply consistent security policies to all their RAN sites to help reduce the chance of configuration errors or other changes that can put them at risk. With VMware’s intrinsic security approach, each vRAN function is also isolated within the virtualization layer. This keeps them separate from other systems and further protected.
“Our entire 5G network will be cloud-native, and we will leverage the VMware Telco Cloud Platform to adopt an O-RAN architecture for all RAN sites,” said
Under the Hood
VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN has been optimized for Intel’s FlexRAN software reference architecture. The platform consists of:
VMwarevSphere ESXi. Optimized for the deployment and management of virtualized and containerized RAN functions.
- VMware Tanzu for Telco. Takes VMware’s standards-compliant distribution of Kubernetes for container orchestration and enhances it with telco features. This delivers the scalability, performance, and availability that CSPs need in service.
- VMware Telco Cloud Automation. A cloud-first, vendor neutral way to orchestrate infrastructure, containers as a service (CaaS), and telco network functions and services. It also automates their management across any network and any cloud.
“5G is fueling rapid transition to virtualization and cloud-native technologies, and communications service providers are seeking network infrastructure solutions to help them quickly and efficiently get to market as well as capture the enormous opportunities in front of them,” said
To maximize performance and improve resource utilization,
Thierry Maupile, executive vice president of strategy and product management at Altiostar, said, “Open and virtual RAN architectures are the result of innovation around openness, programmability, and automation. This vision can only be achieved through collaboration among a growing ecosystem of partners. Altiostar and
Bejoy Pankajakshan Chief Strategy Officer at Mavenir, said, “Mavenir is building the future of networks with cloud-native software that runs on any cloud and transforms the way the world connects. Working with VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform as a common infrastructure platform, Mavenir will continue to deliver Open RAN, vRAN and other 5G components to empower Communications Service Providers (CSPs) and enterprises to transform their businesses toward 5G.”
Where to Learn More
To learn more about Telco Cloud Platform RAN:
- Read a perspective on today’s announcement from
Lakshmi Mandyam, vice president of product management, Service Provider and Edge, VMware.
- Download the whitepaper, ORAN: Defining the Path for Innovation in the RAN
Source: 1. Omdia Mobile Infrastructure Market Tracker – 4Q2020
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