Monday, February 26, 2018

Cisco backs Open vRAN initiative for disaggregated mobile networks

Cisco is backing a new, open virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) initiative aimed fostering end-to-end, software-defined mobile networks. Additional backers include Altiostar, Aricent, Intel, Mavenir, Phazr, Red Hat and Tech Mahindra to spur rapid innovation in both hardware and software domains.

Reliance Jio is the first carrier to join.

While virtualization already plays a key role in other domains of mobile networking, such as in the Evolved Packet Core (EPC), IP Multimedia Subsystems (IMS), the Gateway Internet LAN (Gi-LAN) and data transport, backers of this initiative say that the RAN still has not benefitted from disaggregation.

Cisco and the other ecosystem parties plan to focus on assembling viable solutions that build on an open and modular architecture. Priorities include activities that simplify the transition to Open vRAN and software-defined mobile networks including:

  • Testing and integration
  • Solutions validation
  • Transport evolution
  • Publishing performance benchmarks
  • Running Proof of Concepts (POC)
  • Coordinating roadmaps for end-to-end solutions
  • Creating and validating network management templates

“In collaboration with the ecosystem vendors, we aim to make the Radio Access Network more open and flexible, enabling the deployment of additional value-add mobile services at the network edge,”  said Tareq Amin, senior vice president, Technology Development and Automation, Reliance Jio. “Through this innovation and collaboration we will be able to deliver a better user experience for our customers.”

“We believe it is an ideal time to align and collaborate on these issues to deliver innovative solutions ready for commercial deployment,” said Yvette Kanouff, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Service Provider Business. “Together with the ecosystem parties, we’re making leaps forward in developing a customer-centric ecosystem focused on accelerating innovation and enabling new business models to dramatically lower costs, add capacity and improve network performance.”