This isn’t the RAN we were raised on

News | February 28, 2020

Deutsche Telekom, Intel and VMware said they are collaborating on a vRAN platform architected by VMware and Intel and based on Intel’s FlexRAN architecture. It is planned to undergo testing and validation at DT’s labs – the latest in a fairly long look DT has taken at vRAN and open RAN approaches.

So what is new here?
“Our collaboration with VMware and Intel aims to address scalability and related economics for vRAN macro layer deployment,” says Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation (STI), Deutsche Telekom. “Going forward, we will jointly collaborate with the open RAN vendor ecosystem to accelerate commercial availability of solutions.”

The Open RAN solution architecture leverages standards-based Intel processors and FlexRAN, a vRAN software reference platform, to run vRAN workloads on top of VMware’s telco cloud platform, optimised for real-time and low latency workloads. FlexRAN provides optimised libraries for LTE and for 5G NR Layer 1 workload acceleration. This set of libraries supports Forward Error Correction (FEC), rate matching, and cyclic redundancy check (CRC) functions as specified in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards. DT said that VMware had been able to develop the O-RAN element known as the RAN Intelligent Controller. This means that radio resource management can be separated as software away from the underlying hardware.

Other partners include Cohere Technologies – which previously raised its head in the industry proposing an alternative waveform for 5G based on OTFS. After a recent pivot, the company is now using the OTFS algorithm as the basis for more efficient radio processing in 5G.