Intel, Juniper Networks and Rakuten Symphony have formed a partnership to develop Next-Gen Distributed Unit (DU), a pioneering, carrier-grade Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) solution for mobile network operators to modernize radio cell sites by leveraging the latest cloud-native architecture. This solution provides operators with the flexibility to densify their network, accommodate various network topologies, and support new features while reducing the required hardware per site.
Mobile network operators around the world are starting to deploy an O-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’s mission is to minimize the headaches associated with building and running a mobile network,” said Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony. “With our partners, we have developed a worry-free appliance that simplifies the cell site deployment not just for 5G, but also future generations of mobile technology. Next-Gen DU 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.”
Next-Gen DU combines the containerized cell site routing functionality and a containerized Distributed Unit on a single general purpose server platform, which significantly reduces the capital and operating expenditures for an operator. Offering consistent carrier-grade routing stack across both physical and virtual RANs, 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 Kubernetes ecosystem for orchestration and networking.
Dan Rodriguez, Intel’s Network Platforms Group added, “We continue to see the industry shift to take advantage of the many benefits provided by the cloudification of the RAN. By utilizing our Next Generation Intel Xeon D Processors, 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.”
Raj Yavatkar, Juniper’s CTO, 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 the art routing stack offers operators a unique solution for delivering differentiated 5G services, including network slicing.”
Developed with Rakuten Symphony’s unmatched know-how and experience with cloud-native and ORAN-based networks, leading containerized RAN software from Altiostar, a Rakuten Symphony company, Intel’s 3rd Generation Xeon Processor and FlexRANTM software, and Juniper’s carrier-hardened cloud-native routing stack, Next-Gen DU will give operators more opportunity to create innovations within their networks, while broadening and securing their supply chain.