The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) and Deutsche Telekom (DT) have launched of the SD-RAN Berlin Trial, the first field trial implementing fully disaggregated Open RAN using ONF's RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) software platform as defined by the O-RAN architecture. This 4G and 5G Standalone (SA) outdoor trial is live at Deutsche Telekom in Berlin, Germany.
Carriers are investing in Open RAN to enable a new breed of modular and customizable 5G systems to accelerate innovation and enable the mix-and-match of best-of-breed components from multiple vendors. Open RAN gives operators choice and flexibility to customize and optimize their networks.
This SD-RAN trial hosted by DT highlights the promise and flexibility of open RAN by integrating components from eight companies: AirHop, Edgecore, Facebook, Foxconn, Intel, Radisys, Supermicro and Wiwynn. Additionally, the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is participating by providing hardware and facilities out of the TIP Community Lab in Berlin hosted by DT. The on-site field trial integration and testing is being coordinated and supported by Highstreet Technologies.
The live trial features horizontally disaggregated hardware (separate RU, DU, and CU units), as well as vertically disaggregated software components including an open source near real-time RIC (nRT-RIC) and xApps coming from the ONF's SD-RAN project. By integrating proprietary and open source components, including a near real-time RIC and xApps, this ground-breaking trial exemplifies a model for how future open RAN deployments are envisioned to take shape.
The entirety of the trial is operational through leveraging ONF's Aether platform, a centrally-managed, multi-cloud, cloud-native platform providing Connectivity-as-a-Service, and highlights network slicing with multiple UPFs running at the edge. The SD-Core component of Aether provides 5G connectivity and the control plane running from the public cloud while SD-Fabric is a fully programmable network fabric optimized for the edge cloud used to instantiate a P4-based 4G/5G UPF in hardware.