HPE opens its 5G Lab, eyes a catalyst role in 5G

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Bangalore: HPE has opened its 5G Lab – a live test and development environment for telcos and partners to validate and integrate 5G network solutions.

Using the HPE 5G Lab, telcos can speed up 5G adoption and access new revenues faster by getting hands-on experience with the latest 5G innovations in the lab.

Affirmed Networks, Casa Systems, Intel, Metaswitch, Openet and Red Hat are among the industry players that have supported the HPE 5G Lab.

Located in Fort Collins – Colorado, USA, HPE 5G Lab is available to customers and HPE partners globally via remote access and includes the provision of personnel to manage and operate the lab environment, as well as assist with integration and testing.

HPE 5G portfolio of solutions

The lab is based around HPE 5G portfolio solutions and will include multiple 5G related products and solutions -namely the HPE 5G Core Stack, HPE Telco Cloud, and HPE Teleco Blueprints for Core and Edge.

  • HPE 5G Core Stake – including 5G network functions from HPE and our partners, HPE Shared Data Environment (SDE) and orchestration layer
  • HPE Telco Cloud – including industry-standard servers, storage and networking components to run the 5G network, along with cloud and container platform software such as HPE Ezmeral Container Platform, RedHat OpenShift, RedHat OpenStack, and VMware Tanzu.
  • HPE Telco Blueprints for Core and Edge – including the infrastructure and VM stacks, supporting both third-party and HPE solutions such as the HPE 5G Core Stack and HPE Edge Orchestrator
  • Aruba networking equipment supporting telco-provisioned services for enterprise and Wi-Fi 6/5G interworking

Besides Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s growing 5G portfolio allows telcos and enterprises to gain benefits from 5G on three fronts – the network core, at the edge, and in the enterprise.

HPE this year has introduced three key solutions including HPE 5G Core Stack, HPE Resource Aggregator for Open Distributed Infrastructure Management and HPE Edge Orchestrator as part of its 5G portfolio.

HPE 5G Core Stake is an open, cloud-native 5G core network software stack and HPE Resource Aggregator for Open Distributed Infrastructure Management helps in simplifying the management of telco grade compute infrastructure for 5G across thousands of sites. While HPE Edge Orchestrator, enables telcos to deliver new edge computing services to customers at the edge of telco networks.

Catalyst role in 5G technology

Now, with the 5G Lab, HPE is looking to a play catalyst role that provides an development environment for telcos and enables them to test and validate these technologies, prepare for mass adoption and also invest in them.

Unlike previous generation technologies, 5G leverages standards that are open, flexibility, interoperable and runs on modular software and hardware components across vendors.

This is a major shift from the proprietary based software and hardware based integrated systems. It enables telcos to build their 5G networks with open cloud-native platforms making the deployment of new 5G services.

“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, VP and GM – Communications and Media Solutions, 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, according to Mottram.

“With the HPE 5G Lab launch, telcos, solution vendors and national stakeholders can test innovative new solutions with confidence and ensure that they are ready for mass adoption,” added Mottram.

With an open approach, HPE believes that telcos now have the flexibility to work with practically any independent software vendor (ISV) or best-of-breed solution provider to create tailored networking solutions tuned to specific verticals and use cases.

The HPE 5G Lab encourages telcos, vendors and platform providers to come together to test, document, and validate their technologies as a single solution.

The lab’s initial focus will be to bring innovation to the previously monolithic cellular network core with 5G radio access networks deployments initially and migrating from the current 4G core infrastructure to a standalone 5G core.

This will enable holistic management, data sharing, and slicing into virtual 5G networks with dedicated usage and characteristics.

The HPE 5G Core Stack is truly open, allowing telcos to swap out network functions (NFs) as needed and therefore stay nimble and ahead of the competition. The lab enables telcos to test and validate multiple NFs from different vendors whilst relying on HPE for integration with the HPE 5G Core Stack.

Entry to 5G Lab via HPE Partner Ready program

However, to access the HPE 5G Lab and achieve validation with the 5G Core Stack, ISVs will have to first join the HPE Partner Ready program.

This will allow them to demonstrate compliance with 3GPP standards and benefit from HPE’s growing 5G ecosystem, including HPE’s global salesforce, go-to-market support and innovative delivery models through HPE GreenLake and HPE Financial Services.

(Image source – HPE)

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