Samsung Electronics announced it continues to collaborate with industry-leading innovators — including providers of chipsets, cloud platforms and servers — to expand the 5G vRAN ecosystem. This is an effort to drive multiparty collaboration and innovation for the advancement of software-based networks. With this ecosystem, the parties continue to advance vRAN towards a more scalable, flexible network that delivers carrier-grade performance, management and reliability.
Samsung is the global leader in the fully-virtualized 5G RAN market.1 The company’s achievement was driven by its 5G vRAN solution, which has been deployed around the world, making Samsung the only major network vendor to have delivered fully-virtualized commercial RAN deployments in North America, Europe and Asia.
Samsung delivered its 5G vRAN solutions for a large-scale commercial network service in the U.S. that launched in December 2020, providing reliable mobile services to millions of users. The company continues to expand its 5G vRAN footprint, with recent milestones including:
Achieved 2.25Gbps on a single user device with dual connectivity using vRAN and Massive MIMO radios on C-band spectrum in June 2021
Successfully launched commercial vRAN over C-band using 64T64R Massive MIMO radios in the U.S. in January 2022
Switched on the UK’s first 5G Open RAN site and the world’s first 5G Standalone (SA) Open RAN site in Japan — both powered by Samsung’s vRAN
Samsung’s commercially-proven network solutions range from traditional RAN to virtualized RAN to Open RAN — supporting operators’ 5G path of choice. To advance virtualization and openness, Samsung’s 5G vRAN splits the baseband functions into a fully disaggregated virtualized Distributed Unit (vDU) and virtualized Central Unit (vCU). The key to this disaggregated architecture is that the RAN software is separated from customized hardware and runs on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers. Samsung’s vRAN also supports O-RAN specifications, “opening up” interfaces between baseband unit and radios, allowing integration from different vendors.
“While many vendors claim they support Open RAN by starting with the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), in reality, this is still far from commercialization in large-scale networks and sidesteps the most important part of the Open RAN revolution — which starts from the disaggregation of hardware and software in the baseband, and also involves opening of the fronthaul,” said Woojune Kim, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics.
Samsung’s vRAN solution fully disaggregates the hardware and software in the baseband, and can support the open fronthaul interface. The company’s O-RAN compliant 5G vRAN solutions are deployed commercially in Japan and U.K. networks, offering seamless integration with other vendors’ radios.
Added Kim: “What differentiates Samsung is a combination of consistent innovation and large-scale commercial experience with leading Tier One operators around the world. This has helped us lead the advancement of vRAN and Open RAN beyond lab tests and field trials, and into major commercial markets. Now, the creation of this vRAN ecosystem will drive innovation to the next level, unlocking numerous opportunities ahead for network industry players and helping operators scale their businesses.”
Innovating Together for Success
As a pioneer and leader in vRAN technology, Samsung has brought together various companies for collaboration in this ecosystem — starting with Dell, HPE, Intel, Red Hat and Wind River. Samsung has tested and validated interoperability with each company platform, which collectively holds a comprehensive view of the network evolution at every step of the development process. The ecosystem will help in the preparation for commercial deployments, including conducting various activities in Samsung’s lab — aligning solution roadmaps from multiple vendors, fostering a fully interoperable approach to vRAN and leading the design process of an end-to-end vRAN solution.
Companies joining this vRAN ecosystem include:
Dell Technologies’ telecom solutions bolster the open ecosystem and help communications service providers (CSPs) transform to cloud-native vRAN networks. Samsung’s vRAN solution, combined with Dell’s carrier-grade, telecom infrastructure, will help CSPs around the globe to affordably build and deploy open networks. Dell’s global supply chain and telecom services seamlessly support network deployments of any scale.
Dennis Hoffman, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Dell Technologies Telecom Systems Business said, “Samsung’s commitment to advancing the vRAN ecosystem will foster new innovative services and business opportunities for communications service providers and enterprises. Our collaboration with Samsung and other partners is helping to develop an open ecosystem of technologies that can deliver the performance and reliability network operators demand.”
Hewlett Packard Enterprise
HPE continues a legacy of over 30 years of experience in the telecom industry. More than 300 telco customers across 160 countries take advantage of HPE’s open telco solutions, offered through the HPE Communications Technology Group (CTG), to evolve to a 5G ready, cloud-native, service-based architecture. As the global edge-to-cloud company, HPE’s experience in enterprise IT and hybrid cloud helps deliver a cloud transformation and secure, carrier-grade, standards-based infrastructure to telecommunications networks.
Phillip Cutrone, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Global OEM & Service Providers, at HPE said, “HPE looks forward to continuing our longstanding collaboration with Samsung by welcoming a new opportunity to deliver optimized 5G solutions for our customers. By using HPE ProLiant servers, the world’s trusted servers, to deliver highly dense, small form factor RAN workload-optimized compute platforms, HPE is playing a pivotal role in enabling the Samsung vRAN ecosystem that will further advance 5G experiences.”
Samsung has teamed up with Intel to support global service providers in virtualizing their 5G RAN and driving new services innovation based on Intel Xeon Scalable processors. Samsung recently announced the deployment of its fully virtualized, cloud-native vRAN solution to support the UK’s first 5G Open RAN network, as well as 5G vRAN in Japan. Both Intel and Samsung have optimized their solutions to deliver outstanding virtualized performance and flexibility to meet service provider requirements around the world.
Cristina Rodriguez, Vice President and General Manager, Wireless Access Network Division at Intel said, “The shift to virtualized RAN is one of the biggest transformations impacting the industry today. Intel’s collaboration with Samsung illustrates the strength of software-defined solutions in delivering flexibility and scalability in real world deployments.”
Red Hat is collaborating with Samsung to deliver 5G network solutions built on Red Hat’s proven open hybrid cloud portfolio, including Red Hat OpenShift – the industry’s most comprehensive enterprise Kubernetes platform. With this collaboration, Samsung and Red Hat are helping service providers drive 5G adoption and realize the benefits of vRAN. Samsung’s 5G vRAN solutions coupled with Red Hat’s open source, cloud-native solutions aim to extend 5G-based use cases by supporting consistent horizontal platforms from the core to the edge for customers to more easily deploy vRAN.
Darrell Jordan-Smith, Senior Vice President, TME & Industries at Red Hat said, “Red Hat is committed to building a bridge for customers to embrace RAN transformation, connecting business needs with the underlying technologies through an open ecosystem of partners. At the heart of the 5G and RAN evolution is cloud-native, open source innovation that helps form the foundation for future connectivity. Samsung’s leading 5G network solutions powered by Red Hat hybrid cloud technology offers service providers and their customers a flexible, scalable and reliable solution to successfully implement RAN at the edge, improving business agility to respond to opportunities more rapidly.”
Wind River Studio provides a fully cloud-native, Kubernetes- and container-based architecture, based on open source, for the development, deployment, operations and servicing of distributed edge networks at scale. It delivers a foundation for a geographically distributed managed solution able to simplify Day 1 and Day 2 operations by providing single-pane–of-glass (SPoG), zero-touch automated management of thousands of nodes, no matter their physical location. Studio addresses the complex challenges of deploying and managing a physically distributed, cloud-native vRAN infrastructure to provide traditional RAN performance in a vRAN deployment.
Avijit Sinha, Chief Product Officer, Wind River said, “A leader in the early 5G vRAN landscape, Wind River is delivering mature production-ready offerings with Samsung based on proven Wind River Studio technology that is live in deployment with Tier One operators. Together with Samsung, Wind River can provide flexible, secure, reliable and ultra-low latency solutions that extend across the 5G cloud core and edge to support new use cases in an increasingly intelligent systems world.”
Samsung continues to expand its ecosystem with additional partners with industry-leading expertise in order to meet operator needs for more flexible and scalable networks.