5G Open RAN
Open RAN is the new generation of Radio Access Networks (RAN), which is based on open standards, vendor agnostic, virtualized and a containerized approach. All these functionalities based on open standards and virtualized environments enable the deployment of Architectures for 5G Private Networks, Hybrid Cloud, and Public Cloud either for Service Providers, virtual providers and even private enterprise networks.
Open Interoperable protocols have been alway the norm, although some vendors have solved some of the connectivity opportunities through a proprietary approach. However Open RAN can be implemented with a vendor-neutral hardware and open software defined approach, which opens the opportunity to be in the 5G market to other participants.
In a traditional RAN environment both the Radio systems, software, hardware and even some internal protocols are proprietary technologies.
Traditionally vendors have a lock-in vendor approach defining proprietary protocols and functionalities along with pre-defined functionalities, however in an Open RAN approach this approach is challenge precisely due to the interoperability that is needed in a 5G Network based on 3GPP standards.
Open RAN opens the protocols and interfaces at different levels of a Radio Access Network Architecture. Such as the disaggregation and decoupled functionalities on the software, hardware and radio systems.
Software Defined Networking (SDN), Application Programming Interfaces (API), Virtualized Network Functionalities (VNF) and Open Interfaces are technologies that have created the path towards an open RAN approach.
- Software Defined Networks
This technology separates the network control plane form the forwarding plane which provides a better traffic management approach. SDN enhance the traffic management from a hardware and premises approach to a cloud level providing agility, control and visibility to react based on traffic and functionalities demands through scalability improvements, flexible policies based on Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) considering the end to end security controls. A foundational protocol of an SDN Architecture is the OpenFlow protocol since it provides the functionalities for a building block network infrastructure approach.
- Application Programming Interface (API)
An API is a software intermediary that allows two applications to communicate among them. These mechanisms use a set of definitions and protocols.
- Virtual Network Functions (VNF)
VNFs are virtualized network services running on virtual machines (VMs) on virtualized infrastructure. VNFs reduce power consumption, enable a better functionality management since the VNFs for different services can be liked through a service chaining process, providing scalability and security capabilities reducing the operational footprint since a VNF is a software approach in an Network Function Virtualization (NFV) and SDN environments in compliance with ETSI standards.
5G Network Slicing Capabilities
5G Network Slicing Capabilities
Product Management 5G 3GPP Standards
Why Nokia, Ericsson, and even Google are going after 5G Network Slicing Capabilities?
User Equipment (UE) Route Selection Policy (URSP) is the technology that manages the network slice information for the UE in a 5G Network. The Policy Control Function (PCF) is the network element in a 5G Network which enables the USRP network slice feature that informs the network slice status to the User Equipment (UE) via the Access and Mobility Management Function (AMF) which is one of the control plane network functions (NF) of the 5G core network.
The URSP Feature enables smartphones to establish connections to multiple 4G and 5G Network slices simultaneously through different enterprises and end-customer-applications.
URSP is a core functionality since it impacts in network performance, security, user plane traffic and improvement of the latency.
The application of network slicing are several such as High- Quality Video streaming, Cloud real time-gaming and metaverse traffic.
The real value for the end-applications of USRP and Network Slicing is for the smartphones Operating Systems such as Android would be to enable up to 5 network slices, with the fall-back option to always go back to a pre-configured APN ( Access Point Network) .
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5G Technology and Use Cases