BARCELONA, Spain — The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) launched two new project groups, OpenRAN 5G NR and WiFi. And three years after Facebook first launched the initiative at MWC, TIP for the first time demonstrated how its technologies work together in an end-to-end mobile network architecture.
The disaggregated network demonstration uses general purpose processing platforms and white-box devices and shows the interoperability of seven TIP technologies — OpenRAN, vRAN Fronthaul, Edge Computing and Applications, Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway, Cassini, CrowdCell, and OpenCellular — from 16 different vendors across three areas: access, backhaul, and core and management. The vendors are: Adva Optical Networking, Athonet, BaiCells, Benetel, Edge-Core Networks, Fujitsu, Lumentum, Marvell, Phluido, Qwilt, IPinfusion, Altran, MobiledgeX, Lime Microsystems, NTT, and Open Radisys.
This disaggregated approach to a telecommunications network is more cost effective, and it gives operators more flexibility so they can deploy new services faster, said TIP Executive Director Attilio Zani at a press conference on Monday. It also means operators can more quickly replace individual network components instead of having to replace entire monolithic solutions. “This is really looking to the future,” he said.
TIP also today launched two new project groups: OpenRAN 5G NR, co chaired by Vodafone and Sprint, and WiFi, co-chaired by Deutsche Telekom and Facebook. TIP has other groups that focus on the radio access network (RAN), and as the name suggest, the new OpenRAN 5G NR group will focus on 5G disaggregated RAN technologies.
“It’s about seeing how can we build 5G architecture that is also disaggregated, and it’s a signal that we as telcos are quite interested in this approach to the technology,” said David Del Val Latorre, director of product innovation at Telefónica. “When we disaggregate all the technical components of the radio access network, we enable new innovation, which comes with virtualization — so much of the new components are software. When one of the vendors has a new software release, it is easy to upgrade our networks because we’re just upgrading small components.”
The WiFi group will, among other things, work on improving WiFi internet connectivity and finding new monetization methods and business models for these networks.