Open RAN Update: UK Focused On Integration Testing; HPE Unveils Solution Stack

Open RAN Update: UK Focused On Integration Testing; HPE Unveils Solution Stack
Open RAN Update: UK Focused On Integration Testing; HPE Unveils Solution Stack

By Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief

Open RAN is gaining traction in the UK with Vodafone trialing out disaggregated radio stacks in rural parts of its network and now, a government-back programme is gearing up to focus on testing hardware/software interoperability and integration.

The SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Center (SONIC) is a joint effort of Digital Catapult, a government innovation testbed organization, and telecoms regulator Ofcom. In its effort to explore the readiness and functionality, SONIC has onboarded industry partners, including Accelleran, Phludio, Effnet, Benetel, Mavenir, Foxconn, NEC and Radisys. Accelleran, Phludio, Effnet and Mavenir provide various virtualized RAN software solutions; Foxconn works on the hardware side; NEC and Radisys specialize in system integration.

Beginning in May, SONIC said the partners will start working both in lab and field settings, and to expect more partners to join on. Digital Catapult Chief Technology Officer Joe Butler said in a statement, “Providing a neutral environment for testing and demonstration with eight solution providers will surface the opportunities and challenges of interoperability. We will collectively learn what works and what does not in terms of integration, technology and processes.”

HPE looks to mass deployment of Open RAN-based 5G

Putting its new Communications Technology Group to work, HPE last week announced an Open RAN Solution Stack made up of orchestration and automation software, “infrastructure blueprints,” and server infrastructure tuned to telco needs–the ProLiant DL110 Gen10 Plus server. The company said the ProLiant is “the industry’s first Open RAN…workload optimized server.”

The RAN-focused hardware and software follows HPE’s launch a little less than a year ago of its 5G Core Stack, and vRAN and MEC platforms. Taken as a whole, HPE’s Communications Technology Group is looking to capture more telco revenue against the backdrop of a move toward multi-vendor, software-centric network built on general purpose hardware.

“HPE aims to become the transformation catalyst for the 5G economy,” SVP and GM of the Communications Technology Group Phil Mottram said in a statement. “We have collaborated with customers and partners to build the HPE Open RAN Solution Stack from the ground up to meet the unique demands of Open RAN deployments.” He said Open RAN helps operators gain “efficiencies, reduce operational complexity, simplify the infrastructure, and futureproof the radio access network.”

To hear more from Mottram on 5G and Open RAN, check out the below episode of the RCR Wireless News podcast Will 5G Change the World?

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