Advantech joins 5G O-RAN Alliance

Advantech joins 5G O-RAN Alliance

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

Advantech has joined the O-RAN Alliance, a world-wide community of mobile network operators, vendors and institutions based on open standard for the Radio Access Network (RAN) in 5G networks .

As part of the Alliance, Advantech will contribute with compact and reliable commercial-off-the-shelf server designs that are capable of sustained communication workload processing at the network edge.

Since its foundation in 2018, the O-RAN Alliance promoted an open, virtualised and interoperable mobile network, demonstrating the functionality as well as the multi-vendor interoperability of network equipment.

Advantech, based in Taiwan, is already a white-box hardware provider for telecom, IoT and networking systems where the ecosystem is vital.  It is working on the development of a new RAN based on open standards and white-box hardware to reduce the cost of 5G deployment.

This is set to be based around the SKY-8000 Series of 5G Edge Servers. These are based around Intel Xeon processors with a high PCI Express card payload density to integrate vRAN acceleration, time synchronization and I/O technologies. These already have NEBS Level 3-compliant to withstand harsh environmental conditions in terms of shock, vibration, dust particles, electrostatic discharge, and operating temperature.

In-house design enhancements such as redundant AC-DC power supplies, the ability to withstand single fan failures, or redundant BIOS and firmware images that support failsafe remote upgrades via IPMI 2.0-based platform management improve the reliability, maintainability and serviceability of the SKY-8000 Series.

The servers have been deployed globally in carrier networks as base stations as well as virtual Distributed Units.

“The O-RAN ALLIANCE is disrupting how mobile networks are deployed for the first time since early analogue cellular days. As it happened to other industries before, virtualization and open interfaces lower entry barriers and stimulate the creation of a competitive ecosystem that drives innovation,” said James Yang, VP, Cloud-IoT Group, Advantech. “Advantech supports the O-RAN ALLIANCE in taking an ecosystem approach to collectively address the challenges of deploying multi-vendor and disaggregated 5G networks. As new O-RAN contributors, we will take the opportunity to expand our collaborations in the RAN industry to continue developing white-box base station servers ready for 5G.”

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