For the first time in telco, radio access as a service is here.
At Mobile World Congress LA, Rakuten Symphony, Intel and Juniper Networks announced a collaborative effort to pioneer a carrier-grade Open RAN (Radio Access Network) solution for mobile network operators to modernize radio cell sites by leveraging the latest cloud-native architecture. This new solution — designed to take on some of the telco industry’s biggest challenges — comes in a surprisingly small box.
A multipurpose edge appliance, Symware provides operators with the flexibility to densify their network, accommodate various network topologies, and support new features while reducing the required hardware per site.
“Never again will you have to worry about a hardware upgrade. Never again will you have to worry about a generation upgrade.”Tareq Amin, Rakuten Symphony CEO & Rakuten Group CTO
Designed for effortless installation and built to be durable, weather hardened and self-cooling, the appliance weighs in under 18.5 kg — light enough to be carried by a single person for installation at the cell site or edge data center. And with zero-touch provisioning, ‘plug & play’ cabinet-free installation, and energy-efficient sustainable design, it may just represent the future of cell site deployment.
The dream behind Symware
Mobile network operators around the world are starting to deploy Open RAN and cloud-native architecture in their networks, which will provide them with greater agility, enable smarter security, and empower them with new levels of automation while broadening and securing their supply chain.
“Symware is radio-as-a-service architecture that we want to deliver to the industry,” announced Tareq Amin, CEO of Rakuten Symphony, onstage at GSMA’s MWC LA conference. “Never again will you have to worry about a hardware upgrade. Never again will you have to worry about a generation upgrade.”
This is because Rakuten Symphony — a Rakuten Group organization with operations across Japan, Singapore, India, EMEA, and the United States that develops and brings to the global marketplace cloud-native, Open RAN telco infrastructure platforms, services and solutions through the Rakuten Communications Platform — will upgrade Symware automatically for customers.
“Rakuten Symphony constantly looks to introduce leading-edge innovations to accelerate network transformations,” shared Amin. “With our partners, we have developed a cost-performance optimized appliance that simplifies the cell site deployment for 4G, 5G and future generations of mobile technology. Symware provides operators with the ultimate future-proof cell site solution that enables them to flexibly densify their network and accommodate various network topologies at the lowest cost.”
A powerful solution with a tiny footprint
The Symware multipurpose edge appliance combines the containerized cell site routing functionality and a containerized Distributed Unit on a single general purpose server platform, which significantly reduces the capital and operating expenditures for an operator. Offering consistent carrier-grade routing stack across both physical and virtual Radio Access Networks, the solution readily enables 5G network slicing features both in RAN and transport domains including slice isolation, slice monitoring and dynamic traffic steering through segment routing. The solution supports automation with zero-touch provisioning, rolling updates, telemetry and analytics for all the components, and is based on the Kubernetes® ecosystem for orchestration and networking.
“Symware provides operators with the ultimate future-proof cell site solution.”
Developed with Rakuten Symphony’s expertise and experience with cloud-native and Open RAN-based networks, leading containerized RAN software from Altiostar, a Rakuten Symphony company, next generation Intel® Xeon® D processors, codenamed Ice Lake D, and FlexRANTM reference software, and Juniper’s carrier-hardened cloud-native routing stack, Symware will give operators more opportunity to create innovations within their networks, while broadening and securing their supply chain.
*KUBERNETES ® is a registered trademark of the Linux Foundation in the United States and other countries. Intel and Xeon are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries.