Ericsson, Google Cloud expand collaboration with Cloud RAN offering - The EE

Ericsson, Google Cloud expand collaboration with Cloud RAN offering

Ericsson has announced an expansion of its partnership with Google Cloud. This will develop an Ericsson Cloud RAN (radio access network) solution on Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) that offers integrated automation and orchestration and leverages AI/ML (artificial intelligence / machine learning) for additional CSP (communications service providers) benefits.

GDC is a portfolio of managed hardware and software solutions which extends Google Cloud’s infrastructure and services to the edge and into data centres. The teams have demonstrated the implementation of the Ericsson vDU and vCU on GDC Edge and the solution is running live in the Ericsson Open Lab in Ottawa, Canada, with joint ambition for market development. 

Deploying Ericsson Cloud RAN on GDC Edge enables the delivery of an automated and very large-scale distributed cloud, resulting in highly performant and secured software centric radio access network infrastructure. In this setup, the on-premises GDC Edge is managed using functions such as fleet management from the public cloud through a dedicated secure connection between on-prem hardware and the cloud, while also addressing sovereignty and privacy requirements of the CSP customers. This architecture ensures the clear path for CSPs toward the implementation of a fully hybrid cloud solution for RAN.

Running Ericsson Cloud RAN on GDC Edge will enable CSPs to utilise Google Cloud Vertex AI, BigQuery and other cloud services, to improve the usability of data sets being provided by Cloud RAN applications. This in turn, will open a number of opportunities for CSPs to control, inspect, configure, and optimise their RAN infrastructure.

Ericsson Cloud RAN provides CSPs additional choice for creating networks based on open standards and interfaces using multiple vendors. The Ericsson Cloud RAN solution is infrastructure agnostic, allowing RAN applications to be deployed on any infrastructure chosen by the CSP. Ericsson is continuously collaborating with ecosystem partners and adapting its Cloud RAN applications to work on different infrastructures and configurations.

To further a cloud-native automation approach to network workloads, Ericsson and Google Cloud are jointly enhancing the solution through the Linux Foundation open-source project Nephio (a Kubernetes-based automation platform for deploying and managing highly distributed, interconnected workloads such as 5G network functions) to drive standardisation of critical functionality.

Marten Lerner, head of product line Cloud RAN, Ericsson, says, “This partnership enables us to deepen and expand our valuable collaboration with Google Cloud, and it opens new opportunities for operators to utilise the benefits of cloud native solutions and automation. 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.”

Gabriele Di Piazza, senior director, telecom products, Google Cloud, says, “We’re proud to enable Ericsson Cloud RAN to run on Google Distributed Cloud Edge infrastructure, which includes access to our AI/ML capabilities as well as cloud-native automations. We’re delighted to recognise Ericsson as a distinguished Google Cloud Partner and look forward to a continued strong partnership in support of our mutual customers.”

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