Monday, February 27, 2017

CORD and xRAN Consortium Partner in Software-based Extensible RAN

CORD and xRAN consortium partner to develop carrier grade software-based, extensible RAN February 23rd The CORD Project, an open source project seeking reinvent network access via enabling data centre economics and cloud agility in the central office, announces an agreement to partner with xRAN Foundation to collaborate on standardising and promoting a software-based, extensible RAN (xRAN) architecture.

The partnership is intended to deliver a carrier grade, open reference implementation of xRAN specifications within M-CORD for a next generation RAN architecture. Designed to address the challenges associated with closed, proprietary RAN systems and the future demands of 5G, the CORD Project and xRAN are combining two ecosystems of service providers, vendor and open source communities.

Through the initiative, the xRAN consortium will focus on developing software-defined standards for the architecture and interface definitions for next-generation RAN; the CORD community will focus on implementing xRAN standard APIs, a RAN controller based on ONOS and example RAN control applications for the M-CORD platform leveraging both open and closed hardware from multiple vendors.

As part of the partnership, ON.Lab has announced the appointment of Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor of EE and CS at Stanford University, as chief scientist for mobility to guide the integration of xRAN with M-CORD.

The collaboration is expected to establish a symbiotic relationship between standards and API specifications and reference implementations, and thereby allow the use of specifications to help improve the reference implementation, while experience with the reference implementation can help improve specifications. In addition, extended engagement with the open networking ecosystem will help to create software- defined standards and a reference implementation, and help speed the adoption of software defined RANs.

Founded in October 2016, the xRAN consortium has developed standardised RAN control interfaces that allow carrier applications to programmatically control multi-vendor RAN infrastructure and have been adopted by carriers. xRAN aims to decouple the RAN control plane from the user plane, build a modular eNB software stack that operates on COTS hardware and release open north- and south-bound interfaces.

Members of the xRAN consortium include AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and SK Telecom, plus Intel, Texas Instruments, Aricent, Radisys and Stanford University.

Regarding the partnership, Andre Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs and CTO, commented, "AT&T has been a founding member and active supporter of both xRAN and CORD, and the time is right for xRAN and M-CORD to come together… the xRAN and M-CORD partnership will allow the building of mobile access networks with the ability to customise and optimise the RAN and to more quickly create new services…".

https://www.linuxfoundation.org/announcements/cord-project-and-xran-consortium-align-to-build-carrier-grade-software-for-next

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