A world first: 5G Open RAN hardware-agnostic DU software solution

Parallel Wireless

In a world first, Parallel Wireless has successfully deployed a 5G standalone Open RAN hardware agnostic DU solution in the “5GUK testbed”—a private network built to facilitate research and innovation and located at Bristol Harbour.

Real Wireless is proud to have been part of the project, alongside Arm®, BT Group, NXP® Semiconductors, and the University of Bristol.

Julie Bradford, Head of Techno-economic Analysis at Real Wireless, said “This deployment showcases some of the truly impressive innovation from the Proteus project. It was a pleasure to be given the opportunity to analyse the benefits and potential market impact of this programme.”

Enabled by a grant from the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), the deployment is an outcome of the Proteus project which productizes processor-agnostic RAN solutions, adaptable for Intel’s x86 as well as Arm-based technologies.

This project is significant as it demonstrates decoupling a common DU software stack from the underlying compute hardware and validates the approach on both the Intel® x86 and Arm® architectures, in an outdoor 5G installation.

Open RAN architecture enables operators to leverage a diverse ecosystem of products and software from multiple vendors, fostering greater flexibility and tailoring capabilities. This disaggregated approach empowers operators to deploy energy-efficient, innovative, and competitive solutions, driving operational efficiency and value for money. To fully reap the benefits of Open RAN, a comprehensive assessment of vendor solutions, including their energy efficiency, processing capabilities, suitability for specific deployment scenarios, and related costs is crucial.

At Real Wireless our expertise in Open RAN system architecture, techno-economic analysis, and deployment strategy can help operators or service providers to strategically align system architecture choices to create maximum value.

Find out more about how we can help here.