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New HPE 5G Lab enables MNOs to move away from Nokia, Ericsson, and Huawei

The HPE 5G Lab facility.
(Image credit: HPE)

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. 

"Doubts still persist about the ability of open 5G technologies to truly replace the old way of building networks."

Phil Mottram, HPE.

“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.” 

The HPE 5G Lab is located in Fort Collins, Colorado, but is available worldwide to customers and HPE partners via remote access

The HPE 5G Lab, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, is available worldwide via remote access. (Image credit: HPE)

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. 

"“A key to making it a reality is the shift by telcos from being locked in to proprietary, vertically-integrated networks from monolithic vendors."

Jerry Guo, Casa Systems.

“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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Dan is a British journalist with 20 years of experience in the design and tech sectors, producing content for the likes of Microsoft, Adobe, Dell and The Sunday Times. In 2012 he helped launch the world's number one design blog, Creative Bloq. Dan is now editor-in-chief at 5Gradar, where he oversees news, insight and reviews, providing an invaluable resource for anyone looking to stay up-to-date with the key issues facing 5G.