VMware and Deutsche Telekom develop vRAN solution

VMware and Deutsche Telekom develop vRAN solution

27 February 2020 | Natalie Bannerman

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VMware and Deutsche Telekom are collaborating on a virtual RAN (vRAN) platform, based on O-RAN standards.

The new offering delivers agility to radio access networks (RANs) for existing LTE and future 5G networks. The solution was created by VMware and Intel, based on Intel’s FlexRAN architecture and is due to undergo testing and validation at Deutsche Telekom’s headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

“As the traditional RAN becomes the open RAN, we need to accelerate the development of scalable high-performance open RAN solutions. Our work with VMware and Intel aims to address scalability and related economics for vRAN macro layer deployment,” said Alex Jinsung Choi (pictured), SVP of strategy & technology innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “Going forward, we plan to work with the open RAN vendor ecosystem to accelerate commercial availability of solutions.”

As more service providers are beginning to virtualise all part of their network, having an open vRAN helps to create introduces cloud economics in the radio access network environment. Additionally, as the open RAN solution architecture uses standards-based Intel processors and FlexRAN to run vRAN workloads on top of VMware’s telco cloud platform, optimised for real-time and low latency workloads.  

“This solution brings the promise of RAN to the forefront for today’s LTE networks and tomorrow’s 5G networks,” said Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager of telco and edge cloud at VMware. “In a 5G world, the RAN needs to become software-defined in order to meet the needs of CSPs, and what we’re proposing with this open and intelligent vRAN platform will do exactly that.”

The three companies are working with an open partner ecosystem to develop this solution, and key initial partners include Cohere Technologies and Mavenir.

“Virtualising the RAN is an important step in the 5G future that will enable innovative services at the edge. Through this collaboration we aim to demonstrate how standards-based hardware and software can accelerate new types of network deployments,” said Cristina Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Intel’s wireless access network division.