Ericsson Launches “Open Lab” for 5G Radio Access Networks

by | Apr 9, 2021

Ericsson Open Lab is co-located with the company’s Cloud RAN expertise at Ericsson’s R&D site in Ottawa but is accessible virtually to customers globally. The company will support these activities from its locations around the world.

Ericsson says the Open Lab enables fast and interactive collaboration that delivers innovation to complement existing RAN solutions. Ericsson Open Lab also aims to help service providers pursue and realize new deployment and 5G use case scenarios, as well as create opportunities to increase automation and reduce manual intervention. The lab offers space to further explore Open RAN technologies, including aspects such as virtualization, management, and orchestration.

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson, said: “Open technology underpins the modern mobile miracle, which connects more than eight billion devices today with one set of global operating standards. With Ericsson Open Lab, we invite our customers and partners to co-create and bring new cloud innovations to 5G.

“We have created this collaboration to develop architectures and common operating standards that complement existing 5G ready technology. This initiative will help to test the limits of 5G connectivity, working closely with operators and enterprise customers globally, as the industry continues to adopt more open architectures”.

Ericsson Open Lab collaboration is not limited to Ericsson cloud-native infrastructure technology and RAN software advancements on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers and acceleration hardware. It will also seek to foster greater cooperation in areas such as machine learning, network automation and optimization with communications service providers and industry partners. These service providers include KDDI, Ooredoo, Orange, Softbank Corp, Turkcell and ecosystem partners such as Intel, NVIDIA, Red Hat and Wind River. Additional customers and partners will be engaged as Cloud RAN network requirements evolve, enabling new collaborative activities in the Open Lab.

Ryuji Wakikawa, Vice President, Head of Advanced Technology Division, SoftBank Corp., said: “SoftBank is actively working with global ecosystem partners to realize virtualized RAN technologies. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Ericsson and its Open Lab to accelerate the innovation of building the most advanced mobile infrastructure”.

ericsson open lab

Ericsson’s RAN Equipment. Image: Ericsson.

Using the latest industry cloud-native technology supported by collaboration and virtual meeting applications the company hope to deliver engaging, dynamic, and interactive collaboration experiences for virtual users. At the Ottawa site, 100MHz of indoor mid-band spectrum and 60MHz of indoor/outdoor mid-band spectrum is available for testing and co-creation activities. This enables customers and partners to create and test Cloud RAN capabilities based on their own spectral holdings and use case requirements across indoor and outdoor networks.

Fast and interactive collaboration with service providers and ecosystem partners also supports Ericsson’s Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) approach to Cloud RAN technology development. This approach ensures the seamless integration of new features and accelerates the feedback loop and design of new features. This means that software can go live quickly, often within minutes of being developed.

The Open Lab follows on the heels of Ericsson’s announcement of its Cloud-RAN product portfolio development, with the lab enabling further development of Ericsson Cloud RAN solutions on COTS hardware, bringing higher efficiency and flexibility to customer networks.

Arnaud Vamparys, Senior Vice President, Radio Networks at ‎Orange, said: “In the Open RAN journey, interoperability, cloudification and automation are key topics for Orange. The collaboration with Ericsson, as part of the Open Lab initiative, is allowing us to explore new flexible and innovative technologies like Cloud RAN on COTS hardware for mobile network evolution”.

The Swedish telecommunications company most famously delivers its mobile broadband to billions of people around the world. It also has a portfolio that spans networks, digital services, managed services, and emerging business helping customers go digital, increase efficiency, and find new revenue streams.

You can find more information about the Ericsson Open Lab on its website.

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