Verizon announced that it recently achieved full virtualization of baseband functions – the heaviest portion of computing on the Radio Access Network (RAN) in a trial environment in California with Intel and Nokia. The Operator demonstrated its first over-the-air data session in a fully virtualized RAN trial environment.
Intel provided the Intel Xeon Scalable processor-based platforms and Intel FlexRAN reference architecture while Nokia provided the new AirScale All-in-Cloud Base Station architecture, which will provide the flexibility needed for future services and requirements for 5G, IoT, low latency services and end-to-end network slicing.
This virtualization will enable the network to be hardware agnostic, using Common Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware, leading to greater flexibility and speed to deployment of products and services.
In previous iterations of wireless networks, hardware and software were coupled together restricting the location of where operations could happen. In this trial, hardware and software were decoupled, providing greater flexibility in where computing operations could take place within the network.