Cisco, Altiostar, WWT creating vRAN hardware/software/services bundle to drive 5G deployment

Building a virtualized radio access network built of best-of-breed components made interoperable through the work of groups like the O-RAN Alliance and Telecom Infra Project is seen as a way to drive 5G scale by taking cost out of the most expensive part of a service provider network. But going from concept to commercial availability has proved tricky with Japanese operator Rakuten Mobile claiming the world’s first open, vRAN deployment.

To drive vRAN adoption, Cisco, Altiostar and WWT are partnering to develop a technology blueprint for RAN modernization, assemble the kit, test and validate the set up, then sell a fully-integrated 4G/5G solution in an effort to drive operator adoption of this new network model.

Cisco is a Rakuten Mobile vendor, providing software, services, router and switches. Altiostar also worked with Rakuten Mobile to deliver open RAN software for 4G and 5G technologies. Cisco and Rakuten’s parent company are both Altiostar investors, as are Qualcomm, Tech Mahindra and others. 

According to a press release, Cisco is providing its Virtual Infrastructure Manager platform, Ultra Packet Core and Converged SDN Transport. Altiostar is bringing its RAN software and WWT is providing testing and validation at its Advanced Technology Center in St. Louis, Missouri. From there, WWT will sell the bundled solution along with managed services provided by WWT and Cisco.

Altiostar EVP of Strategy and Product Management Thierry Maupile said the integrated solution covers “all the areas needed to roll out a complete and open vRAN…to both rural and urban networks. It is driven by growing interest in adopting open virtualized RAN amongst the services provider community because of the significant cost and flexibility benefits it brings to the networks.”





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