Deploy Open RAN with Confidence: Implement a Commercially Proven, Operationally Ready 4G/5G Solution at Your CSP Today

Mavenir Brings Enhanced 4G Indoor Coverage to Partner Israel Mobile Network social 2

* This blog is co-authored by VMware and Mavenir

As a strategic decision-maker weighing the costs and benefits of deploying open RAN at a large telco, you’re likely facing a litany of problems and pressures: financial risks, operational costs, and simultaneous 4G/5G requirements, to name a few. The promise of a disaggregated open radio access network collides with the hard reality of the present: maintaining and updating a large, costly purpose-build vertical stack of hardware that keeps your operations stuck in the past and your CapEx budget stuck in the heights even as you work to re-architect and expand that monolithic system to support 5G. There’s solace in minimizing risk, of course, but without end-to-end automation, it’s technically difficult and operationally costly to rapidly scale and centrally manage your 5G network.

The 4G/5G open virtualized radio access network (Open vRAN) solution from Mavenir, powered by VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN, solves these problems while minimizing the risks associated with the transition to open RAN. The combined solution is commercially proven at scale and operationally ready for deployment in a pre-integrated, reliable architecture. With the solution’s end-to-end automation, real-time monitoring, and assurance, you can deploy new open RAN sites at an unprecedented rate and then streamline their operations with lifecycle management, full-stack visibility, and closed-loop remediation.

Mavenir and VMWare

The recent deployment of thousands of open RAN sites in a live commercial network is a strong testament to the scalability and efficiency of the combined solution from VMware and Mavenir. The successful deployment of a commercial network at scale is a clear indication that this open vRAN solution is commercially ready for widespread adoption now to tap its benefits while minimizing risk. 

Cost-Effective Automation Proven at Scale 

The live deployment of the combined solution has yielded numerous proof points:

  • Proven scale: More than 10,000 live vRAN sites managing 60,000 open radios
  • Commercial-off-the-shelf hardware is used in a cost-effective and sustainable way
  • Automation-driven scalability: Deployments at a rapid pace of more than 100 sites per day
  • Cost savings: Zero-touch provisioning, end-to-end automation, DevOps practices and CI/CD pipelines with GitOps, and automated lifecycle management reduce costs
  • Streamlined operations: Centralized operations simplifies the complexity of managing systems and sites
  • Service assurance: Real-time monitoring eases operations 
  • Do more with less: Fewer servers reduce hardware management overhead and improve sustainability  

The combined 4G/5G non-stand-alone (NSA) solution runs Mavenir’s containerized network functions (CNFs), including those for the virtualized Distributed Unit (vDU) and Centralized Unit (vCU), on VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN. The solution reduces fragmentation and complexity in nascent 4G/5G open vRAN systems by delivering two fundamental open RAN building blocks in an integrated and validated way as a software-defined RAN solution. The solution includes lifecycle management, end-to-end automation, and vRAN assurance that can be deployed on commercial off the shelf servers while supporting O-RAN compliant radio units from Mavenir as well as other vendors.

The Mavenir Open vRAN Solution

The Mavenir Open vRAN solution allows operators to roll out 4G and 5G networks in a fully cloud-native manner, harnessing speed, agility, and automation while leveraging cutting-edge cloud technology and Mavenir’s expertise in deploying and operating cloud-native network functions. The solution supports various deployment scenarios from massive MIMO to mmWave and 5G slicing and is built from the ground up to be cloud native, with fully containerized microservices allowing it to be deployed easily on any cloud – private, hybrid, or public.

Mavenir’s unified vDU and vCU solution allows a CSP to choose the right balance between the performance and cost of operating a large, scalable network. The solution provides flexibility to a CSP in making rational decisions by investing in CapEx in the part of the network that requires better performance and low latency — at the edge — and leveraging cloud economies with minimal CapEx investment and a pay-as-you-grow OpEx model for the centralized part of the network or data center.

VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN

VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN is powered by a field-proven virtualized compute solution coupled with a telco-grade Kubernetes distribution, RAN automation, and service assurance. The platform simplifies operations across distributed RAN sites, regardless of the vRAN functions each site hosts, through centralizing automation, which in turn reduces OpEx.

  • Run virtualized baseband functions, virtualized distributed units (vDUs), and virtualized central units (vCUs) in accordance with stringent RAN performance and latency requirements
  • Automate lifecycle management of infrastructure, Kubernetes clusters, vRAN functions, and 5G services
  • Monitor and manage your RAN for high availability with closed-loop automation and remediation

With end-to-end RAN automation, consistent multi-cloud operations and lifecycle management for Days 0, 1, and 2 connect each layer of the RAN. The Workflow Hub component promotes the unification of each abstraction layer and substantially improves your ability to operate the platform. You can create new, multi-cloud workloads by using its CI/CD pipeline to rapidly develop, connect, test, deploy, and manage virtualized network functions (VNFs) and containerized network functions (CNFs).

Reusing Building Blocks to Rapidly Design Processes

By using pre-built templates as building blocks in a simple drag-and-drop GUI, Workflow Hub lets you quickly stitch together processes that address various use cases. Here are some examples: 

  • Construct an executable and repeatable workflow that uses automation to provision a cell site, including CNFs.
  • Create a pipeline that application teams can use to bring up a Kubernetes cluster for network function version testing, obtain the results, and terminate the environment.
  • Link deployment steps that take place outside VMware Telco Cloud Automation, such as setting up an external network, with the deployment of a network function.
  • Automatically link several steps to manage the different components of your software-defined systems, such as provisioning a bare-metal server or performing lifecycle management.
  • Save a predefined workflow as code so that an operations team can execute and repeat it later after customizing it to fit its environment.

VMware Bare Metal Automation, which can be integrated with the solution, provisions VMware ESXi hypervisors on physical servers to drive the rapid deployment of distributed RAN sites.

The optional service assurance capabilities deliver a superior 5G network and subscriber experience with real-time monitoring, assurance and automation.

Gaining Full-Stack Visibility and Closed-Loop Remediation

VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN can also be integrated with service assurance capabilities, including closed-loop remediation that is executed with automation.  The assurance capabilities include fault management, performance management, service management, root-cause analysis, and service-impact analysis. With the platform’s actionable insights in near real time and end‑to‑end visibility of physical, virtual, and service layers, network operations centers (NOCs) and service operations centers (SOCs) can manage many networks as one to rapidly resolve network issues. 

Closed‑loop remediation cuts across infrastructure, orchestration, and service layers to manage real‑time SLA and service quality conformance. Automatic association of issues with customers lets you automate the remediation of issues by priority and deliver a consistent level of service quality. The result of automated closed‑loop remediation reduces costs, improves operational efficiency, boosts customer satisfaction, and improves network reliability.

Summary: Mavenir Open vRAN on VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN

Mavenir’s Open vRAN solution running on VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN modernizes CSP networks with a commercially proven, operationally ready solution. Delivered on a horizontal platform, the solution accelerates and simplifies deployments across distributed RAN sites with automation and assurance.  Reduce the risks associated with Open RAN and confidently deploy open RAN sites now and manage them at scale.

Want to learn more about our operationally ready 4G/5G solution? Contact your VMware or Mavenir account representative to find out more about deploying the Mavenir Open vRAN solution on VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN.

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