Open RAN: Vodafone trials Admission Control and Traffic Steering applications

Vodafone has achieved a successful field trial, validating both Admission Control and Traffic Steering applications running on top of the open and interoperable Juniper RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) platform.
Vodafone 5G ItalyVodafone’s trial in association with Juniper Networks and Parallel Wireless, validated with live traffic on a Vodafone commercial network, is based on an open, software-driven architecture that demonstrates the power of intelligence to address challenges such as Opex control, service differentiation, customer experience and sustainability, among others.

The Admission Control use case combines both the rApp and xApp from Juniper Networks, allowing real-time tracking and optimization of radio resources such as User Equipment (UEs)/tenant and Power Distribution Unit (PDUs)/tenant based on current traffic utilization.

The application allows for the dynamic allocation of network resources without the need for over-provisioning all the way to specific customers, improving resource management and network efficiency. As a result, operators can achieve cost savings with streamlined operations and reduced equipment needs while providing a higher quality of service to end users.

The Traffic Steering xApp from Parallel Wireless, in conjunction with Juniper’s rApp, enhances the user experience by dynamically and automatically distributing network load. Based on the traffic/cell conditions in Vodafone’s live network, throughput improvements of 40 percent were observed for users that were experiencing low performance due to cell overload, and an average of 15 percent to 30 percent improvement was observed across all users in the overloaded cell.

Both use cases demonstrate that user experience can be managed and optimized automatically by the RIC, based on real-time data insights. These use cases can be implemented uniformly across RANs in a multi-vendor environment.

Vodafone and Juniper Networks will embark on the next phase of collaboration on the Radio Intelligence Controller with the development of advanced use cases such as energy saving and mMIMO optimization. The collaboration will also involve validating third-party rApp/xApp vendors using SDK and APIs exposed by the Juniper RIC.

“At Vodafone, we have a clear vision that Open RAN will transform networks into open platforms for innovation. The success of this trial represents the first RIC deployment in our live commercial network, aligned with the O-RAN Alliance specifications,” Paco Martin, Head of Open RAN at Vodafone Group, said.

“This trial is a testament to the focus on open interfaces and multi-vendor interoperability that the Juniper carrier-grade RIC platform represents. The trial serves as a stepping stone that will spur further innovation in the Open RAN space,” Constantine Polychronopoulos, Group VP, 5G & Telco Cloud at Juniper Networks, said.