Verizon has extended its network virtualization efforts with the addition of the first Ericsson virtualized cell site (Ericsson Cloud RAN), with support from Intel and RedHat providing the processing and cloud-native orchestration functions.
Verizon, one of the leading telecom operators, has been a leader in virtualizing its network, announcing recently it already has 8,000 cell sites virtualized in its network with an eye toward virtualizing 20,000 sites.
Virtualizing the far edge of the RAN – the cell sites closest to the customer – is a function of decoupling the hardware and software associated with a cell tower and transitioning the software so that it’s not just stored in the cloud, but is designed for a cloud-native architecture and operation.
“Cloud-native virtualized RAN provides web-scale benefits, cost savings and flexibility to manage radio networks at a highly granular level,” said Cristina Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of the Wireless Access Networking Division at Intel.
Intel’s contributions to Verizon’s recent milestone include providing its 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processor, Intel vRAN Dedicated Accelerator ACC100 and Intel Ethernet Controller E810 to deliver the processing, acceleration and connectivity requirements.