Verizon launches first Ericsson VRAN cell site

Verizon launches first Ericsson VRAN cell site

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Verizon has extended its network virtualisation plans with the addition of the first Ericsson virtualised cell site also known as Ericsson Cloud RAN.

Launched in collaboration with Intel and RedHat, the new cell site enables the processing and cloud-native orchestration functions. It also allows Verizon to rapidly respond to customers’ varied latency and computing needs and provides greater flexibility and agility in the launch of new products and services.

Verizon has been a global leader in virtualizing its network recently announcing it has 8,000 cell sites virtualised in its network with plans to reach 20,000 sites in the near future.

Virtualising the far edge of the radio access network (RAN) is a result of decoupling the hardware and software at the cell tower and transitioning the software so that not just in the cloud but is designed for cloud-native architecture and operation.

For its part, Ericsson provided its commercial 5G Cloud RAN solution, comprised of a virtualised Central Unit (vCU), a virtualised Distributed Unit (vDU), and radio units. This software-based 5G Cloud RAN solution spans across all of Verizon’s frequency bands, using both FDD and TDD 5G spectrum assets, including Massive MIMO support for C-band and interconnecting previously deployed equipment to enable Ericsson Spectrum Sharing between LTE and NR carriers.

Intel provided its 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100 and Intel Ethernet Network Adapter E810 to support the processing, acceleration and connectivity requirements.

Red Hat provided its Red Hat OpenShift and Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management for Kubernetes to manage their fleet at scale in collaboration with Red Hat Consulting. In addition, the solution also included Red Hat Advanced Cluster Management to configure the 5G RAN using a Distributed Unit (DU) profile.

In related news, Samsung confirmed that three months on from its milestone of deploying more than 8,000 commercial vRAN sites with Verizon, the project is tracking ahead of progress and have deployed over 10,000 vRAN cell sites, in line with Verizon’s goal of 20,000 sites by 2025.

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