Ericsson has announced Cloud radio access network (RAN ), a new offering to enable communications service providers to add greater flexibility and versatility to their networks.
Cloud RAN by Ericsson is a cloud-native software solution handling compute functionality in the RAN. It will complement high-performing purpose-built baseband offerings in the Ericsson Radio System portfolio, giving service providers an optimal choice for any deployment scenario and need.
As the telecoms industry deploys 5G networks around the globe, technologies such as automation and virtualisation, with Cloud RAN specifically, will play a key role in future network evolution. These technologies will be the catalyst for more openness in networks, with cloud technology offering new innovative alternatives for RAN deployment that complement existing tried and trusted solutions.
Cloud RAN by Ericsson will deliver network capabilities for both large-scale and centralised 5G deployments. It will allow service providers to address new business opportunities and diverse 5G use cases for indoor, industry, enterprise, stadiums and beyond.
Leveraging Ericsson’s experience in designing and deploying cloud core networks, as well as in service management and orchestration worldwide, the new offering opens the door for service providers to use web-scale technology and benefit from cloud-native design from application to infrastructure. This will bring greater scalability and faster time-to-market for developers and enterprises to innovate new services.
Commenting on the development, Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson, said, “5G is a platform for open innovation. By empowering a larger ecosystem of developers and industries, we can co-create and bring new cloud innovations to the 5G space. With Cloud RAN by Ericsson, we will help our customers evolve their networks with future-proof technology while maximising their network investments today.”
Ericsson Cloud RAN will be released in stages, matching the service providers’ journey to complement their purpose-built 5G networks. The first stage will provide the foundation, offering a system-verified solution* for 5G low band that will enable an easy transition to a virtualised RAN using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware platforms.
The first stage includes Ericsson’s new Cloud RAN application software – Cloud RAN DU and Cloud RAN CU – enabling a highly capable and flexible 5G network architecture. It also includes new Radio Gateways, enabling a full utilisation of the installed base of remote radios, making them fully compatible with Cloud RAN. These products set the foundation for future mid-band rollouts.
Further, Joe Madden, Chief Analyst, Mobile Experts, said, “Ericsson is launching innovations in Cloud RAN technology, adding to its strong networks portfolio with open high-level APIs to enable improvements to customer experience and reductions in total cost of ownership related to network automation. Their release of the new Cloud RAN DU and Cloud RAN CU achieves a combination of high radio performance and flexibility.”
Virtualisation and multi-domain orchestration will also create a foundation for future RAN openness. Cloud RAN by Ericsson is designed to support Service Management and Orchestration architecture including Non Real-Time RAN Intelligent Controller (Non-RT RIC), in line with O-RAN interfaces.
The first stage of Cloud RAN by Ericsson will be available in the fourth quarter of 2021.