Ericsson and Google partner on cloud RAN

A cloud-native architecture allows operators to build and run scalable applications in public, private and hybrid clouds environments

Ericsson and Google Cloud are jointly developing a cloud RAN solution on Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) to help communications service providers (CSPs) optimize RAN infrastructure and get more out of cloud-native automation by leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML).

Google Distributed Cloud is a portfolio of managed hardware and software solutions that extends Google Cloud’s infrastructure and services into customers’ data centers. CSPs can run various on-premises applications with the same Google Cloud application programming interfaces, control planes, hardware and tooling they use with cloud hosted apps. The companies have fully implemented the Ericsson vDU and vCU on GDC Edge and the solution is running live in the Ericsson’s Ottawa, Canada Open Lab.

A cloud-native architecture allows operators to build and run scalable applications in public, private and hybrid clouds environments, and according to Ericsson deploying its Cloud RAN on GDC Edge results in “an efficient, reliable, highly performant and secured software centric radio access network infrastructure” and “ensures the clear path for CSPs toward the implementation of a fully hybrid cloud solution for RAN.”

During its Google Cloud Next ’23 event a few weeks ago, Google announced that it has integrated its Vertex AI platform with Google Distributed Cloud, and so it can now run data and AI workloads in any location, including at the network edge. As a result, telco customers will benefit from Cloud Vertex AI, as well as BigQuery and other cloud services, to improve the usability of the massive data sets being provided by Cloud RAN applications. This will make several opportunities around RAN infrastructure control, inspection, configuration and optimization possible.

The pair are also enhancing the solution through the Linux Foundation open-source project Nephio (a Kubernetes-based automation platform in order to further a cloud-native automation approach to network workloads.

“This partnership enables us to deepen and expand our valuable collaboration with Google Cloud, and it opens new opportunities for operators to utilize the benefits of cloud-native solutions and automation,” commented Mårten Lerner, head of product line Cloud RAN, Ericsson. “Ericsson remains committed to ensuring the adaptability of its Cloud RAN applications on diverse cloud infrastructures, offering operators enhanced flexibility and choice in deploying Cloud RAN as well as supporting the evolving hybrid cloud architectures together with Google Cloud.”

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