Operator Deutsche Telekom, alongside AirHop, Juniper Networks, VIAVI Solutions and VMware conducted a trial of non-real time RAN Intelligent Controller (Non-RT RIC) technology based on Open RAN specs.

Andrew Wooden

September 4, 2023

2 Min Read
Deutsche Telekom T Mobile Systems Logo

Operator Deutsche Telekom, alongside AirHop, Juniper Networks, VIAVI Solutions and VMware conducted a trial of non-real time RAN Intelligent Controller (Non-RT RIC) technology based on Open RAN specs.

Framed as a commitment to developing Open RAN tech, the multi-vendor trial was around ‘programmable radio access networks that demonstrates the potential of the Non-RT RIC and rApp concept to automate and optimize disaggregated RAN.’

In the trial the firms completed a RAN closed-loop optimization proof of concept at a Deutsche Telekom’s lab, in a multi-vendor setup based on ONAP and Open RAN specifications. Closed loop rApp algorithms were onboarded and deployed on partners’ Non-RT RIC.

As a result of this very specific endeavour, two use cases were executed. The first was a Physical Cell Identifier (PCI) optimisation focused on detection and resolution of ‘PCI confusion and collision scenarios.’

The second use case was about Energy Savings dynamic Multi-Carrier management (ESMC) using AI and machine learning models. These were trained to determine the optimum time to enable or disable sleep-mode on capacity cells in order to save energy while maintaining quality.

By way of summarising its findings we’re told while multi-vendor frameworks present integration challenges, this proof of concept ‘shows that the adoption of the SMO, Non-RT RIC and rApp framework is promising in how it allows for the decoupling of optimization algorithm development, the supporting platform development and the system integration – so that components from different parties can form a truly disaggregated RAN optimization concept.’

“With this PoC, we set out to assess the technical integration complexity of the components delivered by each party, the level of customization required, to gauge the maturity of products and to identify potential future standardization requirements,” said Petr Ledl, VP, Head of Network Trials and Integration Lab, Deutsche Telekom.

“At DT our primary focus is always on driving innovation to support the best customer experience. The RIC and rApps are key to programmability, automation, and optimization in radio access networks. Taking the learnings from this successful trial, we will now continue the work with our ecosystem partners to accelerate Non-RT RIC/rApp development towards production readiness.”

It’s pretty in the weeds stuff but if you have the constitution for it there is more detail in a published white paper about the trials and the general goals it was designed around here.

In the wider scheme of things, Open RAN appears to be demonstrating a slowing momentum. According to the latest data from analyst firm Dell’Oro, both Open RAN and vRAN revenues declined for the first time in Q2 2023. If this trend continues, the full year 2023 growth number will likely be in the negative.

Telecoms.com recently gathered together a panel of industry experts to define and analyse the future trajectory of Open RAN, which you can check out here.

 

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About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins Telecoms.com on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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