Ericsson Pitches Sweeping RAN Automation Platform from freeamfva's blog

Ericsson Pitches Sweeping RAN Automation Platform

Ericsson today revealed a service management and orchestration (SMO) platform that will be available for mobile network operator trials in mid-2022. To get more ericsson latest news, you can visit shine news official website.

Initial applications for the Ericsson Intelligent Automation Platform will use artificial intelligence and automation to help operators deploy new services more efficiently, heal networks, and improve and optimize network performance, according to the vendor.

These “rApps” for radio access network (RAN) functions will operate on a non-real-time RAN intelligent controller (RIC) that’s included in Ericsson’s Intelligent Automation Platform. The platform also includes a software development kit that allows software developers to build additional features.

Ericsson’s offering is based on some open RAN specifications, but it’s not exclusive to open RAN architecture, explained Santiago Rodriguez, VP and head of strategic projects at Ericsson.

“We don’t just stick to open RAN. We think we need to address the existing networks as well,” including 4G LTE and 5G networks that run on traditional RAN architecture, he said.

Network operators contend with complex infrastructure today and that presents challenges that need to be addressed across multiple generations of existing technology and frameworks that continue to evolve including open RAN and virtualized RAN (vRAN), Rodriguez said. We cannot do an SMO function only for open RAN. It needs to be consistent across the whole network, otherwise the purpose of automating the operation is not really achieved. You would end up with different automation platforms, depending on what part of the RAN you’re actually addressing,” he said.

This strategy puts Ericsson in a unique position because much of the development on RIC, including rApps and xApps, which ride on a near-real-time RIC, are framed around open RAN architecture. The RIC and associated apps are gaining interest among multiple vendors and communities supporting the development of open RAN, including VMware and the Open Networking Foundation’s SD-RAN project.

Ericsson’s reverse-and-forward looking approach could prove to be the more effective strategy, particularly if network operators begin deploying its SMO platform and RIC before they deploy open RAN at scale.

However, Ericsson’s effort doesn’t currently include a near-real-time RIC or xApps, which target functions that are typically implemented as proprietary features on base stations. “This does not include the near-real-time RIC and we’re not implementing a near-real-time RIC at this stage,” Rodriguez said.

Ericsson continues to monitor progress in that area, but hasn’t thus far decided to pursue that path, he added. “The reason is we’re right now trying to focus on where we think our customers can get most of the value from an automation perspective.” As such, Ericsson’s offering is inspired by but not exclusive to open RAN.

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By freeamfva
Added Dec 6 '21



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