In what it claims is a bid to accelerate the adoption of open, multi-vendor 5G products, Hewlett Packard Enterprise has unveiled its first 5G Lab, a test and development environment where telcos and partners can validate and integrate 5G network solutions.
The HPE 5G Lab is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, but is available worldwide to customers and HPE partners via remote access, which includes support personnel to manage and operate the lab environment, as well as assist with integration and testing.
“Governments and telecoms operators around the world are looking to open 5G technologies as an opportunity to move away from a number of vendors which have raised fundamental concerns around security, resilience and market diversification,” said Phil Mottram, vice president and general manager of Communications and Media Solutions at HPE. “However, despite multiple successful deployments, doubts still persist about the ability of open 5G technologies to truly replace the old way of building networks. With the launch of the HPE 5G Lab, telcos, solution vendors and national stakeholders can test innovative new solutions with confidence and ensure that they are ready for mass adoption.”
Moving beyond 'monolithic' core
According to HPE, it is hoped that the 5G Lab will enable telcos, network equipment providers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to “validate these technologies, prepare for mass adoption and invest with confidence”, and bring innovation to what has been described as a “monolithic” cellular network core.
“From edge computing to massive IoT deployments, VR / AR and more, 5G will be the foundation of a new generation of communications, managed services and applications for consumers and businesses,” said Jerry Guo, CEO at Casa Systems. “A key to making it a reality is the shift by telcos from being locked in to proprietary, vertically-integrated networks from monolithic vendors to the new model of open, cloud-native and multi-vendor 5G solutions.”
It is hoped that this approach will deliver a more flexible, agile and cost-effective 5G option for operators looking to move away from a closed, monoculture approach to networking. And te HPE 5G Lab has already gained support from key industry leaders including Affirmed Networks, Casa Systems, Intel, JMA Wireless, Metaswitch, Nokia, Openet and Red Hat.
“Red Hat is excited to continue our work with HPE to advance open source technologies and principles to help organizations look to deploy their next generation 5G networks,” explained Darrell Jordan-Smith, global vice president of vertical industries and accounts at Red Hat. “With the integration of our industry leading container platform, Red Hat OpenShift, to the HPE 5G Core Stack and the new HPE 5G Lab, businesses can be empowered to test, innovate and build on an open cloud- native infrastructure.”
The lab is currently based around HPE 5G portfolio solutions (such as HPE 5G Core Stack and HPE Edge Orchestrator), and will include multiple 5G-related products and solutions. And to access the HPE 5G Lab, and achieve validation with the 5G Core Stack, ISVs first need to join the HPE Partner Ready program, which will allow them to demonstrate compliance with 3GPP standards and benefit from HPE’s growing 5G ecosystem.
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