Dell targets operator economics with its open networking #MWC22 pitch

  • Dell Technologies unveiled several solutions targeting the needs of mobile operators
  • It boasts that its new cloud-native network platform can help cut operator opex by up to 39%, in part by avoiding integration expenses 
  • It has unveiled an Open RAN accelerator card developed with Marvell
  • Dell also highlights the need for collaboration in open network and 5G innovation

Dell Technologies is aiming to turn network operator heads at MWC22 with new products that promise to cut telco expenses and help them to monetise 5G.

Among the new products it will show off in Barcelona is the Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation, which, Dell claims, provides an end-to-end, modern network infrastructure solution to help operators build and deploy cloud-native open networks faster, and with lower cost and complexity.

The solution includes hardware and management software developed by Dell, with operators able to choose an integrated telecom cloud software platform from partners such as Red Hat, VMware or Wind River, it noted in this announcement.

Dennis Hoffman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Telecom Systems Business at Dell, explained that while the idea is for telcos to decide the virtual infrastructure management platform for themselves, Dell will eventually be able to advise on the most suitable application for a specific deployment as the company learns what works best.

He noted that Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation acts as a packaged, integrated hardware and software solution that provides “the foundation for running virtualised and containerised network functions from core to edge to RAN – all as part of an integrated system.”

Thus, instead of buying multiple elements from many different companies and then having to test and integrate the multi-vendor architecture, Dell offers to take care of this responsibility by effectively becoming the systems integrator and delivering it as a ready-to-use package.

“It really is this basic theme of how we make the open network ecosystem more consumable and reliable, and something that businesses could literally bet on,” Hoffman highlighted.

The company cited figures from ACG Research, which has estimated that operators that deploy the Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation can save up to 39% of their operational expenses (opex) – though compared with what is not clear. In addition, the research company has found other benefits for operators include saving time on testing and certification, manual processes, server provisioning, software upgrades and cloud stack integration and testing.

In a pre-MWC media presentation, Dell also unveiled an Open RAN Accelerator Card developed in partnership with Marvell.

The card fits into a server and “completely offloads” the radio access network (RAN) function from the host server in Open RAN and virtual RAN (vRAN) deployments.

“One of the significant challenges that has to be addressed as the network opens up is achieving the right levels of price-performance in the open RAN, achieving at least parity price-performance with conventional technology,” Hoffman noted.

In his words, the card provides “a great deal of options around architecture, how to deploy the technology, different cost points, and in a much more flexible infrastructure.”

Hoffman also put emphasis on the need for a “playground” for open network and 5G innovation and collaboration. To help with this, Dell has come up with an Open Telecom Ecosystem Lab Solution Integration Platform and is welcoming participation from vendors of all types – “hardware, software, from all parts of the network – core, edge, RAN, the diverse set of silicon and the subsystem makers like Dell who pull those things together – to interoperate, collaborate and develop winning solutions that actually move the industry forward,” Hoffman argued.

Dell also highlighted continued work on “validated solutions” for edge and core.

The company has been particularly active in trying to partner with telcos during the past few years, with a focus on developing a portfolio of technologies, lab facilities and facilitating relationships across the industry to help network operators optimise their operations and deliver cost efficiencies.

- Yanitsa Boyadzhieva, Deputy Editor, TelecomTV

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