The announcement of DISH Wireless launching its cloud-native 5G network in Las Vegas, Nevada sent shockwaves throughout the telecommunications industry. Partnering with Amazon Web Services (AWS), DISH Wireless is bringing an innovative take on the latest generation of wireless communication. But the deal did raise questions about where its previous partnership with VMware would stand. It appears that both parties are committed to working together going forward with VMware even announcing new exciting capabilities.
Speaking on DISH Wireless and AWS, another company VMware has experience partnering with, Lakshmi Mandyam, a VMware executive, said, “We have a historical relationship with AWS. A lot of network operators want a dual vendor strategy. This doesn’t really change our plans with DISH.” She continued, “If you look at a lot of the RAN functions as an example, there (are) a lot of real-time performance requirements, data plane requirements that VMware is already delivering on. (DISH is) still going to be using our telco cloud platform for the RAN.”
DISH Wireless leader Marc Rouanne released a statement mirroring these sentiments saying, “Our entire 5G network will be cloud-native, and we will leverage the VMware Telco Cloud Platform to adopt an O-RAN architecture for all RAN sites. We are working with the best hardware and software providers, and VMware is helping us achieve this vision.”
This is all coming at a time in which VMware has announced that its Telco Cloud Platform will begin including the RAN (radio access network). Launching in 2020, VMware is already making a name for itself with powerful partnerships including Vodafone, Rogers Communication, and the previously mentioned DISH Wireless collaboration. The exciting software upgrades will allow for virtualization for both the centralized unit (CU) and distributed unit (DU) functions. The upgrade will also include automation, monitoring, and management for virtual machines and containers. “The first phase is to get those RAN installations virtualized so you can deliver differentiated applications. Having automated set-up and deployment and management out to a distributed RAN installation is important,” said Mandyam.
The overall goal to bring more RAN functions that ultimately allow Open RAN with 5G will take time. Intel’s FlexRAN software is going to support RAN functions with VMware’s platform delivering security policies across the RAN. In the future, 5G applications will be supported on the RAN portion of VMware’s platform. As Mandyam stated, “The transformation of the RAN is going to be a journey.”
Source: Fierce Wireless