It seems that you can’t write about mobile without talking about 5G, and for good reason – what a year it has been! Launches around the globe have accelerated at a pace that is even faster than prior generations. While some deployments are larger scale, like we see in South Korea, many of these can be classified as pilots in limited markets. Operators are validating the technology while testing and assessing demand. While there is no doubt that 5G is “real”, it is still dogged by questions about the business case, and we’re still in the early stages with many of the true 5G innovations yet to come.
2019 has also been a big year for Open vRAN acceleration and adoption. Every day there is news on this front, from the Greenfields like Rakuten and Dish, to existing, established operators such as Telefonica and Vodafone. The O-RAN Alliance is making great progress defining requirements and enabling the supply chain. One big announcement recently was NTT DOCOMO’s multi-vendor interoperability work.
It’s extremely satisfying to see Open vRAN taking hold. This was not guaranteed when we launched the Open vRAN ecosystem in Feb 2018. There was plenty of optimism, but also questions about the viability of these new solutions. Sitting here almost 20 months later we see that much has been accomplished, we have real solutions that are deployable today, and the outlook is very robust.
Customers are unanimously voting for Open vRAN solutions, as shown in this great survey by Senza Fili which was conducted for our partner Mavenir. Some of the primary drivers identified include cost savings, eliminating vendor lock-in, increased flexibility, and better performance. The respondents also identified key factors to help accelerate deployments, including a viable ecosystem.
That’s where our Open vRAN ecosystem comes in. Our mission hasn’t changed, we’re working together to accelerate the viability and adoption of Open vRAN solutions, and ensure their extension into a broader software-defined architecture. Our work is focused across four primary areas – technology and solutions, business case, operational-model evolution, and consumption plus systems integration.
New Partners Joining the Ecosystem
We’re pleased to welcome two new partners to the ecosystem – World Wide Technology and Parallel Wireless. World Wide Technology is one Cisco’s largest partners and we have a strong history together. They are really putting their muscle behind Open vRAN, including integrating and validating solutions, which will help customers accelerate their deployments. Parallel Wireless brings a strong portfolio of Open RAN solutions, and is joining on the heels of our successful work together in the UK Government-sponsored 5G Rural First project. These two partners increase the breadth and depth of capabilities offered by the ecosystem.
Here are the current Open vRAN ecosystem members:
What are we showing at MWC Americas in Los Angeles?
You can find the full picture on Cisco’s presence in Dan’s post here. Specifically on Open vRAN, we are showing how a software-defined mobile network incorporating Open vRAN solutions helps reduce TCO while providing a more agile service delivery platform. We’ll show how we have been working with our Open vRAN partners on a variety of use cases across the full architecture from RAN, transport and mobile core to telco cloud and automation. You’ll also see RAN solutions from three of our Open vRAN partners: Altiostar, JMA, and Parallel Wireless.
I encourage you to visit all of our partners to see their demonstrations. Here are a couple of quick highlights where we have joint solutions:
- Altiostar is showing multiple demos on Open vRAN, 5G, and Automation that incorporate our combined portfolios.
- JMA Wireless has a live CBRS network built with their XRAN Virtualized RAN solution running on Cisco UCS servers.
On to the show!
Thanks for reading this far. We’re excited about the opportunities ahead for mobile and 5G. We’re building for a new world where operators can define their networks by the applications their customers want to run, and their desired operational model. We don’t have a full crystal-ball view of the future, but we do have great insights on how to define and deliver 5G services and also how you can save money with a software-defined mobile network. We look forward to engaging with you at the show.
Lastly, here are a few more details from our two new partners:
About World Wide Technology
World Wide Technology (WWT) is integrating end-to-end Open vRAN concepts into its next generation central office solutions being validated in its Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The ATC is a state-of-the-art testing and research lab with more than $500 million worth of technology investments made by WWT and its industry leading OEM partners. WWT leveraged the ATC to build a fully virtualized network from RAN to core, delivering a 4G mobile broadband internet service based on the 3GPP CUPS architecture. This pre-validated, multi-vendor solution includes a disaggregated radio system, a virtualized packet core, a virtualized carrier-grade network address translation and an NFV infrastructure (NFVi).
About Parallel Wireless
Parallel Wireless is a leading U.S.-based company challenging the world’s legacy vendors with the industry’s only unified ALL G (5G/4G/3G/2G) software-enabled OpenRAN that reimagines network economics for global mobile operators for coverage and capacity deployments, while also paving the way to 5G. The company’s OpenRAN portfolio is designed to help their customers modernize their networks, reduce deployment cost and complexity, increase operational efficiency, enable interoperability and find new revenue streams. The company’s customers include 60+ global mobile operators, private and public industries and governments.