End-to-end orchestration reduces cost of 5G deployments

17th February 2020
Alex Lynn

Parallel Wireless has announced an extension of their 2018 partnership to help global Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) bring the benefits of automation in the webscale data centre to the heterogeneous embedded systems environment of the RAN across 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G.

MNOs have long wanted the promise of datacentre automation to deliver instant provisioning of complex VNF and CNF suites, self-optimisation, self-healing and fast recovery. The reality is that using data centre technologies in the RAN introduces a different type of operational complexity that MNOs need to solve.

Bringing together Parallel Wireless’s pioneering cloud-native All G OpenRAN approach, complemented with Robin.io’s industry-leading automation and lifecycle management platform for data centre technologies such as containers and virtualised workload management, is making the much-anticipated promise of virtualisation of RAN a reality.

The RAN has historically been dominated by embedded systems thinking, the shared vision is to instead bring to the RAN the billions of investments in webscale/cloud datacentre. As more datacentre servers are introduced to the RAN, MNOs will ultimately want a single orchestration platform to cover all devices versus managing multiple platforms whether it is RRH on a tower, real-time baseband at the edge, core services in the data centre or on-prem enterprise 5G service devices. 

The Robin platform uniquely enables analytics driven automation of the widest range of heterogeneous ‘long-tail’ provisioning, slicing, optimisation, healing, scaling (in, out) and recovery scenarios to deliver on this single platform vision. Lastly, operators will have their preferred virtualisation or container platform and Robin is designed to interoperate with all of them whether VMWare, Kubernetes, AWS, OpenStack, Whitestack, etc.

Steve Papa, CEO, Parallel Wireless, said: “When we started working with Robin in 2018 to automate the big data challenges in the network the use of V/CNFs in the RAN was in its infancy. Two years later, it’s clear with the global OpenRAN movement that the RAN will soon be completely software-defined and implemented using cloud-native design patterns. Operators also need a platform that can provide end to end slicing of these heterogeneous resources. Only Robin.io could deliver on this vision.”

Jef Graham, CEO, Robin.io, added: “Mobile operators are quickly realising the vital necessity of automation to manage the deployment and life cycle of 5G networks and network functions. Without massively scalable, cloud-native automation, the cost and complexity of running these networks quickly becomes untenable. Working with Parallel Wireless, Robin.io is delivering that automation, via application-and infrastructure-topology awareness technology that has been refined and proven.”

Over the course of 2020 Parallel Wireless will introduce Robin optimised releases of Unified OpenRAN Controller software and Unified Edge Core software for automated, DevOps-enabled complex dynamically chained services. Edge Core’s high throughput 4G, 5G and WiFi services distributed at the edges of the network will be easily managed as a part of the RAN. This partnership will also enable seamless deployment for enterprise/private 4G/5G including hybrid MNO-enterprise solutions.

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