India’s Bharti Airtel to deploy Altiostar’s Open vRAN solution

Bharti Airtel becomes the first operator from India to deploy vRAN (virtual Radio Access Network) based LTE network that leverages Altiostar’s open vRAN solution across major Indian cities. The solution being 5G ready, the seamless evolution to 5G will be on the way.

RAN is usually a network component that demands a lot of operating costs from MNOs. But Altiostar’s open vRAN solution opens an opportunity for Airtel for several cost efficiencies and innovation on the radio access network. As cloud-based vRAN is crucial requirement for network slicing, Airtel is also setting the foundation for rollout of 5G applications and use cases. Altiostar’s solution is an innovative approach for maximizing hardware performance and efficiency for 5G networks.

Bharti Airtel is a member of O-RAN alliance and has played an active role in Open vRAN standardization.

Verizon all-set to use standalone 5G core

Verizon has recently conducted a successful test of an end-to-end data session with the new 5G standalone (SA) core. This means the operator can now leverage 5G’s cloud-native containerized architecture – exactly the way it is supposed to be. The operator is planning to start shifting its 5G mobile traffic to the new core later this year.

Most of the existing 5G carriers have deployed their 5G networks in non-standalone (NSA) mode, which still relies on 4G’s EPC (Evolved Packet Core). If 5G core is implemented, Verizon can deliver exclusive features of 5G including network slicing and extremely low latency communication (URLLC) for mission-critical use cases. As per the Verizon officials, the 5G core will enable the operator to achieve new levels of operational automation, flexibility and adaptability.

The network core is a software stack of applications, compute functions, network functions and storage. It is a crucial part of the network that enables IP-based connectivity between the user and the services like internet and voice. Due to cloud-based containerized architecture of the 5G core, it can utilize potential of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These technologies will allow the dynamic slicing of network (real-time allocation of resources). This technique can provide specific services to different user groups based on their usage requirements. While Verizon still has some virtualization work to complete, it expects to fully commercialize standalone 5G by 2021.

Nokia to pick up an exclusive 5G contract from Taiwan Mobile

Nokia has picked up an exclusive contract of 400 million euro from Taiwan’s second largest telco – Taiwan Mobile. The operator will use Nokia’s 5G core, radio infrastructure (RAN) and IMS for its next-gen network. Taiwan Mobile’s 5G network will be in a three-year transition which will shift its operating mode from non-standalone to standalone. It will also use Nokia’s cloud and security software.

Nokia has previously partnered with Taiwan Mobile for its legacy networks. It has a key role in telco’s 5G development. Taiwan Mobile is currently holding 60 MHz chunk of 3.5 GHz band (sub-6) and 200 MHz in 28 GHz band (mmWave). Nokia has also partly partnered with Taiwan Mobile’s biggest competitor – Chungwa Telecom, where it will handle 5G radio deployment in south and central Taiwan. Chungwa will be using Ericsson’s equipment for 5G core as well as RAN.

This duo of Ericsson and Nokia equipment has been in use by a number of telcos in Asia-Pacific region, which includes SoftBank from Japan, Singtel from Singapore and Optus from Australia.