Australian mobile network operator (MNO) Telstra and vendor partner Ericsson have announced the first Ericsson Cloud RAN 5G data call on the former’s commercial network. In a press release the two companies claimed that the ‘landmark technology trial’, which is taking place on the Gold Coast in Queensland, represented the first time that Ericsson’s Cloud RAN virtualisation technology has been trialled in a commercial network in the southern hemisphere. Ericsson’s Cloud RAN solution virtualises the RAN baseband as cloud-native network functions for the CU (centralised unit) and DU (distributed unit), while it has been suggested that virtualisation of the RAN baseband will provide the MNO with increased flexibility, faster delivery of services, and more efficient network operations.
Commenting on the matter, Iskra Nikolova, Telstra’s Network and Infrastructure Executive, said: ‘Telstra’s ongoing partnership with Ericsson has reached another new milestone this week with the first 5G Cloud RAN data call over our commercial network utilising Ericsson’s industry-leading Cloud RAN technology. This achievement clears the way for the wider deployment of Ericsson’s Cloud RAN technology, which will enable the full benefits of 5G for Telstra’s customers across Australia.’
In separate but related news, Telstra and Finnish vendor Nokia have announced the deployment of Nokia Orchestration Center to build a reusable platform ‘as a service’ enabling Telstra’s internal network domains faster time to market and an enhanced customer experience. In what the pair claimed was a ‘global first’, it was suggested that the rollout will allow Telstra to fulfil services in a more streamlined way by taking advantage of Nokia’s Unified Inventory solution, while also providing discovery, reconciliation and ongoing synchronisation of network and service assets in near real-time.
Speaking about the development, Lakshmi Easuwaran, Group Owner Orchestration, Enablement and Shared Technologies at Telstra, said: ‘Nokia Orchestration Center has helped us to build a true cloud-native, reusable and shared Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering (also known as Domain Enabler as a Service) for our internal network domains. Our customers not only benefit from an improved experience, but it will help us unlock new business opportunities by being able to introduce new products quickly and seamlessly.’