Ericsson and China Mobile collaborate on Cloud RAN
Thu 12 Jan 2017
Ericsson has signed an agreement with China Mobile to collaborate on cloud-based radio access networks (Cloud RAN). Cloud RAN has been identified as key to the eventual rollout of 5G networks worldwide.
The two-year agreement between Ericsson and the research division of China Mobile, the China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) includes joint research into construction of cloud RAN architecture for 5G and the standardization of interfaces for cloud RAN systems.
The two companies will also work together to define cloud RAN applications and promote the adoption of the cloud RAN ecosystem.
Ericsson’s Chris Houghton, head of the north-east Asia region, said that he believes that cooperation between the two companies will help to drive the evolution of networks to 5G. “Ericsson aims to collaborate with China Mobile to drive 5G evolvement to reach the full potential of a networked society,” he said.
Ericsson and China Mobile have a history of successful collaboration. In December 2015, they signed a memorandum of understanding to partner on 5G research and development and last August the partners conducted the world’s first 5G drone trial.
In September 2016, SK Telecom and Nokia launched the first commercial cloud-based RAN network in the world. The network was created to lay the foundation for 5G, by using virtualization of function to create greater flexibility in existing networks. Virtualized core networks and base stations allow mobile providers to deploy innovative network functions to end users, while at the same time reducing operating costs and improving quality of service.
China Mobile is moving forward with public cloud architecture as well. The company announced that it has selected Nokia Nuage Virtualized Services Platform for its first public cloud offering.
Nuage is a software-defined networking (SDN) platform that virtualizes data center network infrastructure using programmable business logic and virtualized services and switches. The Nuage platform is compatible with OpenStack and Cloudware, and will power 2,000 public cloud servers for China Mobile in Beijing and Guangzhou.
Nokia claims that using Nuage SDN will allow China Mobile to deploy the public cloud network 10 times faster than it would using traditional architecture, while reducing operating expenses by 50%.