By Magnus Ojert, Senior Vice President, Networks Business, Samsung Electronics America
As networks continues to evolve, operators are faced with several options to keep up with the pace of play and have the best network offering to suit customer needs. One of the ways that 5G operators can deliver the fantastic features and services that enterprises and consumers are seeking is by embracing a virtualized radio access network (vRAN) approach.
vRAN allows operators to perform network functions and deliver services that were not possible, or at least not as easy, with a traditional RAN. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) can automate network tasks far more quickly and easily than in the past. They can use resources more cost-effectively with dynamic scaling, which allows networks to add capacity and processing power on the fly when needed.
One aspect of virtualizing the RAN is the conversion of the baseband unit (BBU) from purpose-built hardware into software, in this case, the virtualized Distributed Unit (vDU) and virtualized Centralized Unit (vCU), running on general-purpose servers. This transformation lets MNOs manage their networks more efficiently, deploy new services in a fraction of the time possible with earlier mobile network generations, and perform software upgrades remotely, saving valuable labor and time.
Verizon is a trailblazer and leader in using vRAN in its mobile network. Just three months ago, they announced a milestone of deploying more than 8,000 commercial vRAN sites with Samsung’s support. Today, we are happy to announce that we are tracking ahead of progress and have deployed over 10,000 vRAN cell sites, rapidly pushing towards Verizon’s goal of 20,000 sites by 2025. This extensive use of virtualization allows Verizon to offer its customers new and innovative services and the ability to deliver those services quickly to their customers. Samsung’s vRAN enables Verizon to manage its network flexibly, scale more efficiently and save OpEx with intelligent automation.
Samsung is proud to support Verizon’s journey toward an all-virtualized network. Samsung’s vRAN is cloud-native, 100% virtualized, and uses standardized interfaces, performing as well or better than traditional hardware-bound radio access networks. Our vRAN is O-RAN compliant, able to run 2G, 4G, and 5G networks, and is capable of operating 4G and 5G simultaneously. Virtualized RAN is eco-friendly, allowing for reduced power consumption by turning down or off the energy needed on antennas, amplifiers, and cell sites.
Samsung’s vRAN provides Verizon with a network that scales easily, allows for rapid upgrades and service updates, and can be flexibly managed with pooled and centralized resources. Our vRAN supports single-band, dual-band, and Massive MIMO radios as well as a wide range of FDD and TDD spectrum bands like C-Band, CBRS, PCS, AWS and other low- and mid-band spectrum.
Samsung is the global leader in vRAN, being the first in the industry to deliver to the market a disaggregated vDU and vCU that runs on general-purpose processors and make a complete, end-to-end 5G vRAN available from a single vendor. Samsung is the only major telecommunications vendor with real-world, wide-scale commercial 5G vRAN deployments with Tier 1 operators in North America, Europe, and Asia. Continuing to grow its footprint, Samsung recently announced new wins in Germany and Japan.
Virtualization and the cloud are the future of mobile networks. Verizon and Samsung, working together, are making networks capable of doing more while being easier to manage and save energy.