For HPE, the “openness” of the underlying architecture for 5G – the decomposed, cloud native RAN, core and edge – presents three opportunities.
First, it can provide its own CNFs (Cloud Native Functions) as software to operators. HPE has cloud core elements, deployable as micro-services in a containerised environment, ready to go.
Second, it can act as an orchestrator and integrator of its own CNFs and those from other software vendors. This can be presented to telcos as a complete cloud-core solution, whilst also allowing telcos to use functions from different vendors.
Third, it can provide the cloud infrastructure to support the deployment – servers, storage and networking components to run the 5G network, along with cloud and container platform software such as HPE Ezmeral Container Platform, RedHat OpenShift, RedHat OpenStack, and VMware Tanzu.
It can then further leverage these opportunities in different ways. For example, it can package together the infrastructure and the software to create a “core stack”. It can also create optimised “Telco Blueprints” for certain use cases and application packages. Or it can offer access to the cloud infrastructure on an as-a-service basis, giving telcos a different way to invest in the rollout of their networks.
This week [edit: last week, see note below], HPE said that it has opened a “5G Lab” in Colorado that telcos can access remotely to test out these concepts.
ISVs who want to be involved have to register first in the HPE partner programme.
Robot slicing demo
HPE also press released some network slicing trials with Orange. Along with Casa Systems as a third party, the companies managed to control a robot over dedicated slices.
HPE and Casa’s 5G cloud core functions connected over 5G radio to a robot. “HPE’s Service Director orchestration software creates, configures and deploys network slices for the robot’s service to connect at low latency.”
The demo shows the robot operating normally until additional data traffic and latency are introduced and the robot’s performance is visibly impacted. This triggers an alarm and HOE’s Service Director works with the 5G core network within seconds to create and deploy a new dedicated network slice with the proper QoS restoring the robot to normal operation.
It’s not surprising to see Orange lead in industrial uses of slicing, as the French Government has made the ability to provide differentiated services over the 5G network a condition for 5G licenses in the country. That was a trade-off against portioning spectrum for private or low power usage, as has happened in Germany.
These items are extracts from TMN’s weekly newsletter. Subscribers received these articles on Friday 24 July, as part of our curated weekly roundup and analysis of the week’s mobile network technology news.