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Samsung, Juniper Networks and Wind River Collaborate to Drive Greater vRAN and Open RAN Efficiencies

February 2024 by Marc Jacob

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Juniper Networks® and Wind River® have collaborated on a virtual cell site router (vCSR) to allow service providers to operate their networks with end-to-end virtualization. This software-based network ensures more flexibility, agility, sustainability and faster time-to-market (TTM) for the introduction of new services.

vCSR is part of a new architecture in which the distributed unit and CSR functions coexist as virtualized network elements on one server. In this joint effort, the companies integrated the Juniper Cloud-Native Router, a fully containerized network element, with the Samsung virtualized DU (vDU) on Wind River Studio Cloud Platform. By running multiple network elements on a single virtualized RAN (vRAN) server, the companies are essentially eliminating the need for physical router hardware typically deployed at a cell site and reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) for network deployments of 5G and beyond.

Compared to traditional networks, this software-based infrastructure offers a more resilient and intelligent mobile network. This development plays a pivotal role in realizing the potential of vRAN by fostering flexibility and interoperability among different components. By consolidating multiple software network elements on the same server, operators can benefit from the following:

End-to-end automation with Samsung’s CognitiV Network Operations Suite: The solution supports plug-and-play deployment, management visibility, and massive software upgrades, delivering a more streamlined and efficient deployment and operation process.
Greater agility and flexibility: Built on Software-Defined Networking principles, the virtualized architecture enables the greater scalability and flexibility needed to meet operators’ various network configurations and service demands.
Ability to support diverse applications: With software-centric architecture, vCSR can support security applications such as firewalls and intelligently steer data flows.
Reduced CapEx thanks to simplified deployment with less hardware: There is no need to purchase legacy hardware since it can be combined within the existing server with the vDU and other software platforms. It also frees up additional rack space.
Reduced OpEx with energy savings: By eliminating the physical CSR hardware through server consolidation, approximately 30% of energy use can be saved.

Samsung’s vRAN and Open RAN offer a 100% fully virtualized, cloud-native disaggregated vDU and vCU, proven in the large-scale commercial network deployment across the world. Its industry-leading vRAN software—vRAN 3.0—boasts a range of smart and energy-conserving features optimized to satisfy the forward-looking operators’ needs to build next-generation networks. With its robust ecosystem, Samsung’s virtualized Open RAN brings advanced capabilities that improve performance and increase energy efficiency.

The Juniper Cloud-Native Router takes full advantage of container economics and operational efficiencies, giving service providers the flexibility they need to deploy 5G. The performant, software-based router delivers Juniper’s proven routing technology within the Kubernetes Container Network Interface (CNI) framework. This allows seamless integration with the Samsung vDU on the Wind River Studio platform.

Based on the open source StarlingX project, Wind River Studio provides a fully cloud-native, Kubernetes- and container-based architecture for the development, deployment, operations, and servicing of distributed edge networks at scale. It delivers a foundation to manage a geographically distributed network and simplifies day 1 and day 2 operations by providing a single-pane-of-glass, zero-touch automated solution. Studio addresses service providers’ complex challenge of deploying and managing cloud-native infrastructure for core-to-edge distributed cloud networks to provide traditional RAN performance in a vRAN/Open RAN deployment.

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