Intel Corporation, Juniper Networks, and Rakuten Symphony announced a collaborative effort to develop Symware, a pioneering, carrier-grade Open RAN (Radio Access Network) solution for mobile network operators to modernise radio cell sites by leveraging the latest cloud-native architecture. This Symware multipurpose edge appliance provides operators with the flexibility to densify their network, accommodate various network topologies, and support new features while reducing the required hardware per site.
The companies say that mobile network operators around the world are starting to deploy Open RAN and cloud-native architecture in their networks, which will provide them greater agility, enable smarter security, and empower them with new levels of automation while broadening and securing their supply chain.
“Rakuten Symphony constantly looks to introduce leading-edge innovations to accelerate network transformations,” said Rakuten Symphony CEO Tareq Amin. “With our partners, we have developed a cost-performance optimised appliance that simplifies the cell site deployment for 4G, 5G and future generations of mobile technology. Symware provides operators with the ultimate future-proof cell site solution that enables them to flexibly densify their network and accommodate various network topologies at the lowest cost.”
The Symware multipurpose edge appliance combines the containerised cell site routing functionality and a containerised distributed unit on a single general purpose server platform, which significantly reduces the capital and operating expenditures for an operator, the companies stated.
The companies say that by offering consistent carrier-grade routing stack across both physical and virtual Radio Access Networks, the solution readily enables 5G network slicing features both in RAN and transport domains including slice isolation, slice monitoring and dynamic traffic steering through segment routing. The solution supports automation with zero-touch provisioning, rolling updates, telemetry and analytics for all the components, and is based on the Kubernetes® ecosystem for orchestration and networking.
Intel corporate vice president and general manager network platforms group Dan Rodriguez added, “We continue to see the industry shift to take advantage of the many benefits provided by the cloudification of the RAN. By utilising our Next Generation Intel® Xeon® D Processors and FlexRANTM reference software, this collaboration showcases how RAN workloads can be consolidated onto a single server and meet the performance, capacity and cost requirements of 5G RAN deployments.”
Juniper CTO Raj Yavatkar stated, “Removing the obstacles of deploying O-RAN® in disaggregated production networks is critical for 5G growth. Integrated routing and O-RAN® in a single platform delivers cost and operational benefits for network operators. Combined with industry leading Intel technology and Rakuten’s DU software, Juniper’s disaggregated and state-of-art routing stack offers operators a unique solution for delivering differentiated 5G services including network slicing.”
Developed with Rakuten Symphony’s with cloud-native and Open RAN-based networks, containerised RAN software from Altiostar, a Rakuten Symphony company, Next Generation Intel Xeon D Processors and FlexRAN reference software, and Juniper’s carrier-hardened cloud-native routing stack, Symware will give operators more opportunity to create innovations within their networks, while broadening and securing their supply chain, the companies claim.
The companies say that Symware is targeted for availability the first half of 2022 through Rakuten Symphony.
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 27 October 2021.