New Ericsson Open Lab aims to bring new cloud innovations to 5G through virtual collaboration

With organizations pinning their hopes on 5G technology for various use cases, Ericsson built and is now making available its Ericsson Open Lab to encourage partners to co-create cloud innovations. Cloud is now an essential component in digital transformation and business operations.

Ericsson Open Lab is a new space to collaborate and innovate with leading Ericsson Cloud RAN customers and ecosystem partners to drive virtualized 5G Radio Access Networks (RAN) technologies.

The Ericsson OpenLab’s physical infrastructure is located in the company’s Cloud RAN expertise at Ericsson’s research and development site in Ottawa. However, customers anywhere in the world can access it virtually.

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“Open technology underpins the modern mobile miracle, which connects more than eight billion devices today with one set of global operating standards,” said Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson. “With Ericsson Open Lab, we invite our customers and partners to co-create and bring new cloud innovations to 5G.”

Business operational needs are evolving at a rate that see a world different from just two years ago. Ericsson Open Lab is meant to enable interactive collaboration “that delivers innovation to complement existing RAN solutions.” The company also said Ericsson Open Lab “aims to help service providers pursue and realize new deployment and 5G use case scenarios, as well as create opportunities to increase automation and reduce manual intervention. The lab offers space to further explore Open RAN technologies, including aspects such as virtualization, management, and orchestration.

RAN software advancements

Ericsson Open Lab collaboration is not limited to Ericsson cloud-native infrastructure technology and RAN software advancements on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers and acceleration hardware. It will also seek to foster greater cooperation in areas such as machine learning, network automation and optimization with communications service providers and industry partners. These service providers include KDDI, Ooredoo, Orange, Softbank Corp, Turkcell and ecosystem partners such as Intel, NVIDIA, Red Hat and Wind River. Additional customers and partners will be engaged as Cloud RAN network requirements evolve, enabling new collaborative activities in the Open Lab.

“We have created this collaboration to develop architectures and common operating standards that complement existing 5G ready technology,” Jejdling. “This initiative will help to test the limits of 5G connectivity, working closely with operators and enterprise customers globally, as the industry continues to adopt more open architectures.”

Cloud-native technology

Ericsson Open Lab features the latest industry cloud-native technology supported by collaboration and virtual meeting applications. This will deliver engaging, dynamic, and interactive collaboration experiences for virtual users.

Fast and interactive collaboration with service providers and ecosystem partners also supports Ericsson’s Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) approach to Cloud RAN technology development. This approach ensures the seamless integration of new features and accelerates the feedback loop and design of new features. This means that software can go live quickly, often within minutes of being developed.

The Open Lab follows on the heels of Ericsson’s announcement of its Cloud RAN product portfolio development. The lab enables further development of Ericsson Cloud RAN solutions on COTS hardware, bringing higher efficiency and flexibility to customer networks.

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