Ericsson launches Open Lab in Ottawa
Ericsson is to open a collaborative research lab in Ottawa where it will test and co-create new virtualized 5G Radio Access Networks (RAN) technologies.
The Ericsson Open Lab is a virtual and physical space, collocated with Ericsson's R&D site in Ottawa "for fast and interactive collaboration and co-creation" with the firm's cloud RAN customers and ecosystem partners.
Initial partners have been named as: KDDI, Ooredoo, Orange, Softbank Corp, Turkcell, Intel, NVIDIA, Red Hat and Wind River. They will work on areas such as machine learning, network automation and optimisation, and more partners will join the work in time.
The lab will offer 100MHz of indoor mid-band spectrum and 60MHz of indoor/outdoor mid-band spectrum for "testing and co-creation activities", so customers and partners can test Cloud RAN capabilities based on their own spectral holdings and use case requirements across indoor and outdoor networks.
Fredrik Jejdling (pictured), executive vice president and head of business area networks for Ericsson, said: "Open technology underpins the modern mobile miracle, which connects more than eight billion devices today with one set of global operating standards. With Ericsson Open Lab, we invite our customers and partners to co-create and bring new cloud innovations to 5G.
"We have created this collaboration to develop architectures and common operating standards that complement existing 5G ready technology. This initiative will help to test the limits of 5G connectivity, working closely with operators and enterprise customers globally, as the industry continues to adopt more open architectures."
The aim is to enable "fast and interactive collaboration that delivers innovation to complement existing RAN solutions", help service providers assess and develop new deployment and 5G use case scenarios, and create opportunities to increase automation and reduce manual intervention.
The lab offers space to further explore Open RAN technologies, including aspects such as virtualisation, management, and orchestration. There's virtual accessibility for global customers, while the physical lab is collocated with the Cloud RAN expertise at Ericsson's R&D site in Ottawa. Ericsson will support activities in the lab from its locations around the world.
Collaboration will be key. Ericsson has said the lab is "not limited to Ericsson cloud-native infrastructure technology and RAN software advancements on commercial off-the-shelf servers and acceleration hardware". Second, additional customers and partners will be engaged as Cloud RAN network requirements evolve, which Ericsson said will enable new collaborative activities in the Open Lab.
Toshikazu Yokai, executive officer, chief director of mobile technology, KDDI, said: "KDDI is committed to continuous network innovation and the creation of new technologies to bring superior performance to our users. Working with Ericsson in the Open Lab will enable our design and engineering teams to collaborate in real-time and co-develop new virtualised RAN technologies to accelerate the intelligence and agility of our 5G networks."
Arnaud Vamparys, SVP of radio networks for Orange, added: "In the Open RAN journey, interoperability, cloudification and automation are key topics for Orange. The collaboration with Ericsson, as part of the Open Lab initiative, is allowing us to explore new flexible and innovative technologies like Cloud RAN on commercial off the shelf hardware for mobile network evolution."