Intel Fuels RAN Innovation for 5G Network Transformation

Intel is playing a key role as a trusted partner to drive innovation and bring the full benefits of 5G to reality. Today, the industry has hit a tipping point with over half of core network workloads virtualized, and a tremendous momentum to virtualize the Radio Access Network (RAN).

"The Radio Access Network (RAN) is quickly evolving to support various new 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases for both enterprises and consumers, and we're only scratching the surface of what's possible," said Cristina Rodriguez, vice president and general manager, Wireless Access Network Division at Intel. "The transformation to a virtualized, cloud-native RAN will bring significant flexibility, scale and ease of deployment of new services that service providers desire."

Intel is at the forefront of this global transformation, powering nearly all early commercial virtualized RAN (vRAN) deployments and collaborating with service providers, equipment manufacturers and software vendors. With a combination of Intel® Xeon Scalable® processors, FPGAs, eASIC accelerators, Ethernet adapters and Intel's FlexRAN software reference architecture, the industry is choosing to build on Intel's complete set of network technology solutions. These advancements are critical steps toward realizing the full potential of 5G, edge and artificial intelligence outcomes across a range of industries, including retail, education, healthcare and more.

This momentum continues, with news from two industry-leading communications service providers:

Telefónica will utilize the upcoming 3rd Generation Intel Xeon Scalable processors and Intel's FlexRAN reference software as it evolves toward an open vRAN solution built on off-the-shelf hardware and cloud-based software in a multivendor environment with open interfaces. Telefonica has been an early adopter and promoter of open networks and has taken a leadership position to define and implement open RAN development. By splitting the RAN between the distributed and centralized units, operators like Telefónica can realize significant benefits for their business including a reduction in total cost of ownership while offering a rich set of applications and services that have exposure to edge application programming interfaces. More: Telefónica views on the design, architecture, and technology of 4G/5G open RAN networks

NTT DOCOMO will be partnering with 12 companies, including Intel, to globally accelerate open RAN and enable flexible network deployment to serve diverse company and operator needs in the 5G era. Intel will work with NTT DOCOMO and the ecosystem to develop vRAN with higher flexibility and scalability to help further drive open RAN targeting commercialization in 2022. More: Press Announcement | Telecom TV – NTT DOCOMO creates 5G open RAN ecosystem to globally accelerate open radio access networks

The next wave of network transformation represents a $25 billion silicon opportunity by 2024. Intel continues to help drive innovation by working with global operators to virtualize their RAN and ensure the full potential of 5G.

More Context: 5G & Wireless Communications News at Intel

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