VMware and Intel collaborate to develop vRAN platform for 5G

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VMware and Intel will co-develop a software-based vRAN platform for 5G networks. This will enable telecom operators to roll out 5G radio networks faster and cheaper.

A lot of tech giants want to benefit from the hype around 5G. VMware and Intel are going to further expand their activities in the area of 5G by creating a software-based platform that makes virtual radio networks (vRAN) possible. This platform, an essential part of the core environment of 5G networks, will allow operators to deploy these networks more efficiently, faster and at a lower cost.

A vRAN solution makes it possible to simplify and improve the efficiency of the infrastructure of the operators’ complex radio network system. Instead of using a lot of – often proprietary – hardware, vRAN replaces the infrastructure with standard, easy-to-use equipment and a software platform for automating tasks. For example, software-defined networking in the data center.

Software platform

Specifically, both parties are now developing programmable open interfaces. These ‘building blocks’ are based on the FlexRAN software reference architecture and a VMware RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC). The latter solution is used for managing radio interfaces in telecom networks.

Innovative RAN functionality

The combined solution should prevent operators from having to use multiple software solutions. The platform should enable operators to develop innovative RAN functionality using AI and machine learning. Examples include real-time resource management, managing (mobile) network traffic and dynamic network slicing. According to both companies, this offers a better user experience (QoE) for rolling out 5G for specific business sectors.