Intel and VMware collaborate to accelerate 5G rollout

Intel and VMware announced today they’re teaming up on an integrated software platform for virtualized radio access networks (RAN) to accelerate the rollout of existing LTE and future 5G networks.

With the collaboration, Intel and VMware aim to accelerate communications service providers’ (CoSPs) time to market as they deliver virtualized solutions.

CoSPs are already embracing open and disaggregated RAN architectures. Not only do such architectures provide them with added flexibility, but they also provide the programmability needed to create and deploy new services requiring fine-grained radio resource control and dynamic slicing.

Intel and VMware will work alongside telecom equipment manufacturers, original equipment manufacturers and RAN software vendors to help CoSPs as they build on top of the vRAN platform to address specific use cases.

The companies will also work together to develop programmable open interfaces using Intel’s FlexRAN software reference architecture and a VMware RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC).

VMware says this will enable the development of innovative radio network functions that use AI/ML learning for real-time resource management, traffic steering and dynamic slicing. It’ll also assist in optimizing customer experiences for the rollout of new 5G vertical use cases.

Dan Rodriguez, corporate vice president and general manager of the Network Platforms Group at Intel explained, “Many CoSPs are choosing to extend the benefits of network virtualization into the RAN for increased agility as they roll out new 5G services, but the software integration can be rather complex.”

“With an integrated vRAN platform, combined with leading technology and expertise from Intel VMware, CoSPs are positioned to benefit from accelerated time to deployment of innovative services at the edge of their network,” Rodriguez continued.

“CoSPs around the globe rely on VMware’s Telco Cloud platform to deploy and manage myriad core network functions. As they look to extend their software-defined infrastructure out to the RAN, there are tremendous benefits to delivering all network functions on a single platform,” added Shekar Ayyar, executive vice president and general manager of telco and edge cloud at VMware.

Ayyar continued, “With an integrated platform, CoSPs will be able to deploy new network functions across the same Telco Cloud architecture, from core to RAN, enabling the scale and agility needed to deliver services across a 5G network more efficiently.”

Currently, Deutsche Telekom, an integrated telecommunications company, is testing a vRAN solution architected by VMware and Intel. The solution is optimized for real-time and can handle low-latency workloads.

Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP of strategy and technology innovation at Deutsche Telekom, said, “We are in the validation phase of our work with VMware and Intel on our vRAN platform deployment, which we believe can bring agility to radio access networks for both existing LTE and future 5G networks. It is encouraging to see Intel and VMware expand their partnership to bring the value of open and virtualized RAN solutions to CoSPs around the globe.”