Cisco, Altiostar and World Wide Technology (WWT) are working together on an open, virtual radio access network (vRAN) blueprint for service provider networks. The joint solution will help carriers deploy cloud-based vRAN systems based on technologies from Cisco and Altiostar and that will be brought to market using the sales and integration capabilities of WWT.
Their vRAN blueprint consists of infrastructure software and hardware from Cisco, including its Cisco virtual infrastructure manager (CVIM), packet core, and converged SDN transport. Also included is Altiostar’s 4G and 5G open vRAN software, which supports open interfaces and disaggregates the radio hardware from the radio software.
“Most service providers need help accelerating the integration and adoption of open vRAN,” said Bob Everson, senior director of 5G Architecture at Cisco, in a prepared statement.
Cisco’s former CEO John Chambers was one of a group of people who envisioned virtualizing the radio access network early on. In 2009 Cisco paid $2.9 billion for Starent, a startup that decoupled the mobile packet core from the radio access network. Then in 2011 Cisco also helped to fund some of the members of the Starent team to enable them to create a new company — Altiostar Networks.
Of the combined blueprint announced today, Altiostar EVP of Strategy Thierry Maupile said in a statement, “This blueprint brings together leaders in all the areas needed to roll out a complete and open vRAN solution to both rural and urban networks.”
The Open vRAN blueprint will be validated in WWT’s Advanced Technology Center in St Louis.
Joe Wojtal, CTO for WWT’s Global Service Provider business, recently told FierceWireless, “Given that mobile operators are focused on disaggregating mobile infrastructure, we’re spending a lot of time with them." He said in addition to work with Altiostar and Cisco, WWT has also been working with Affirmed Networks for mobile packet core technology innovation. Affirmed was recently purchased by Microsoft.
In addition to its Advanced Technology Center, WWT has global integration centers in Mumbai, Singapore, St. Louis, and Amsterdam. WWT will take the open vRAN blueprint to market as a fully integrated solution that will be available for customers to test and deploy in their networks with the support of services from WWT and Cisco.