Juniper Networks has collaborated with Vodafone and Parallel Wireless to conduct a multivendor RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) trial for tenant-aware admission control use cases. The trial, initially running in Vodafone’s test labs in Turkey and with plans to move into its test infrastructure, supports open radio access network (O-RAN) interfaces and addresses the key business challenges faced by mobile operators around personalised user experience, viable revenue generation and reduction in both capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) for 4G and 5G services.

The trial is based on an open, software-driven architecture that leverages virtualisation to deliver more programmable, automated granular-by-user traffic management. The initial focus is on delivering tenant-aware admission control capability, enabling operators to personalise services and provide superior user experiences. Real-time tracking and enforcement of radio resources across the RAN enables mission-critical users, for example – hospitals and schools, to receive prioritised mobile data services delivery. This capability is enabled by Juniper’s rApp/xApp cloud-based software tools that manage network functions in near real-time, along with Parallel Wireless cloud-native O-RAN functions.

The trial’s design philosophy is focused on demonstrating the potential of enabling open, agile resource management and mobile data delivery in any software-driven RAN environment. This approach enables services and applications to be managed, optimised and mitigated automatically by the RAN, built on real-time data insights from its own performance.

All three organisations are active operators/contributors of the O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), underlining their shared commitment to industry innovation and standards.

Juniper’s RIC solution is architected as an open platform supporting open interfaces on the north bound and south bound side, enabling easier integration with O-RAN partners in the ecosystem. Juniper’s RIC platform will also enable easy integration of third-party rApps/xApps, using UI-based onboarding and deployment tools coupled with flexibility to select between either network-based or SDK-based application programming interfaces (APIs).

Parallel Wireless brings cloud-native O-RAN solutions which are now integrated with the leading-edge RIC based on O-RAN Alliance specifications from Juniper Networks, giving operators more choices to build the best-of-breed RAN.

Commenting on the collaboration, Paco Martin, head of O-RAN, Vodafone Group, said, “Vodafone has a clear vision that all mobile network radio infrastructure should be open – enabling rapid adoption of innovative services. We see this as a key stepping stone to rich innovation and collaboration, the only way that groundbreaking new use cases in 4G and 5G can be developed and cost-effectiveness maximised. In order to accelerate progress in this exciting journey, I am very pleased that Vodafone is hosting a lab and field trial for tenant-aware admission control using O-RAN interfaces, alongside an ecosystem of like-minded technology partners, including Juniper Networks and Parallel Wireless. By working together, we will be able to build smarter networks, better user experiences and drive stronger sustainability measures for B2B use cases.”

Meanwhile, Constantine Polychronopoulos, VP, 5G and telco cloud, Juniper Networks, said, “This multivendor trial at Vodafone has provided the perfect opportunity to demonstrate how Juniper’s RIC, and our focus on enabling seamless application portability, are able to unlock the true potential of O-RAN. By coupling our innovations with those of Parallel Wireless and Vodafone’s operational experience, we are able to achieve a real-world use case that can deliver value and better user experiences with improved economics for operators.”

Also, Keith Johnson, president, Parallel Wireless, said, “Vodafone has been leading in O-RAN innovation since the early days. As the next stage of O-RAN adoption we are excited to partner with Vodafone and Juniper Networks, integrating our state-of-the-art cloud-native, O-RAN Alliance compliant, O-RAN solutions with the leading edge RAN Intelligent Controller from Juniper.”