European telecoms giant Ericsson has set up the Ericsson Open Lab, a new space to drive virtualized 5G Radio Access Networks (RAN) technologies.
The lab is accessible virtually to customers globally and is co-located with the company's Cloud RAN expertise at Ericsson's R&D site in Ottawa. The company will support these activities from its locations around the world.
Ericsson Open Lab aims to boost collaboration that delivers innovation to complement existing RAN systems. Ericsson Open Lab also aims to help service providers pursue and realize new deployment and 5G use case scenarios, as well as create opportunities to increase automation and reduce manual intervention. The lab offers space to further explore OpenRAN technologies, including aspects such as virtualization, management, and orchestration.
Ericsson Open Lab collaboration is not limited to Ericsson cloud-native infrastructure technology and RAN software advancements on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers and acceleration hardware. It will also seek to foster greater cooperation in areas such as machine learning, network automation and optimization with communications service providers and industry partners. These service providers include KDDI, Ooredoo, Orange, Softbank Corp, Turkcell and ecosystem partners such as Intel, NVIDIA, Red Hat and Wind River. Additional customers and partners will be engaged as Cloud RAN network requirements evolve, enabling new collaborative activities in the Open Lab.
"Open technology underpins the modern mobile miracle, which connects more than eight billion devices today with one set of global operating standards. With Ericsson Open Lab, we invite our customers and partners to co-create and bring new cloud innovations to 5G,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks at Ericsson.
"We have created this collaboration to develop architectures and common operating standards that complement existing 5G ready technology. This initiative will help to test the limits of 5G connectivity, working closely with operators and enterprise customers globally, as the industry continues to adopt more open architectures."
The lab features the latest industry cloud native technology supported by collaboration and virtual meeting applications. This will deliver engaging, dynamic, and interactive collaboration experiences for virtual users.
At the Ottawa site, 100 MHz of indoor mid-band spectrum and 60 MHz of indoor/outdoor mid-band spectrum is available for testing and co-creation activities. This enables customers and partners to create and test Cloud RAN capabilities based on their own spectral holdings and use case requirements across indoor and outdoor networks.
Fast and interactive collaboration with service providers and ecosystem partners also supports Ericsson's Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) approach to Cloud RAN technology development. This approach ensures the seamless integration of new features and accelerates the feedback loop and design of new features. This means that software can go live quickly, often within minutes of being developed.
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