January 31, 2022 | By HPE
Partnering with HPE OEM Solutions, Airspan delivers 5G “network in a box,” a plug-and-play solution built on Open RAN technology
Disrupting the telecommunications industry
Historically, the communications industry has depended on proprietary, vertically integrated systems—which typically lock customers to a vendor. But telecommunications service providers who want to move from previous-generation networks to 5G quickly need open systems to be responsive to the markets they serve.
Airspan Networks Holdings Inc., a pioneer in Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) solutions, provides software and hardware for 5G networks. Unlike traditional systems, Open RAN architecture disaggregates the RAN into multiple functional elements based on standard open interfaces, which allows interoperability among different vendors, bringing flexibility to a previously rigid market.
“Our 5G Starter Kit is a disaggregated solution,” confirms Eran Ridel, director, PLM Software, at Airspan. The simple and flexible “network in a box” is a 5G standalone Open RAN network with plug-and-play deployment capabilities that runs on the HPE 5G Core Stack.
“Positioning HPE hardware as part of our network in a box is something we have done since we validated successful interoperability between our technologies.” shares Jitender Kadian, vice president of sales, strategic accounts in North America, at Airspan.
“Our customers can turn on a 5G private network in just days—not months.”
– Abel Mayal, Senior Vice President, Technology and Marketing, Airspan
The fast track to 5G
Offered pre-integrated on HPE ProLiant servers, which are part of the HPE 5G Core Stack, Airspan’s innovative 5G solution powers dozens of network deployments and collaborations around the world, from sensitive remote operations such as military, shipping, or oil and gas, to low‑latency critical applications such as in hospitals.
The HPE 5G Core Stack integrates network functions from multiple vendors in a common, service-based architecture and shared data environment to support telco-grade performance and security. The offering reduces the risk and complexity of the transition to a cloud-native 5G core with Red Hat® OpenShift platform as a service and Intel®‑powered infrastructure as a service. The solution offers end-to‑end
orchestration and automation, while also permitting interworking with previous generation network technologies.
“The main challenge customers have is integration. It takes time to get the right configuration. That’s why HPE and Airspan work together proactively to validate the integration and make the customer experience simple,” continues Kadian.
“Our customers can turn on a private 5G network in just days—not months,” shares Abel Mayal, Airspan’s senior vice president of technology and marketing. “Our flexible approach allows both public and private network operators to deploy 5G functionality incrementally, as user equipment and application requirements evolve.”
“These are complex times due to supply chain challenges; the HPE and Airspan partnership alleviates the uncertainty to meet the commitments with our customers.”
– Eran Ridel, Director, PLM Software, Airspan
Joint solution benefitting all
The open interfaces and APIs of the joint solution allow interoperability and scalability by moving the software away from the radios to run on HPE ProLiant servers—while also reducing CAPEX and OPEX by up to 40%.1 Additionally, the highly efficient servers can host containerized virtual RAN software for tens of radios while distributing resources among servers, which reduces energy consumption and contributes to modern organizations’ sustainability initiatives. This represents substantial savings, as the RAN is the largest expense for most operators and lowers barriers to entry for new innovators.
“Moving from vendor-specific hardware to off-the-shelf servers also means the solution is easier to deploy and manage,” Kadian shares. This ensures communications services providers are poised for innovation and delivering new network services to meet changing market demand.
Airspan and Hewlett Packard Enterprise have tested the speed and latency performance of the companies’ combined offerings to support several use cases for public networks across core, edge, and RAN, paving the way for additional
tests to include network slicing and other critical 5G use cases.
With network slicing, operators can carve out segments of their networks and tune them to the needs of specific applications to offer customized services for enterprises, industries, the Internet of Things (IoT), and much more.
Though Airspan has the capability and expertise to perform solution integration in its research and development center in Israel, the company has chosen to participate in the HPE OEM program to deliver its network-in-a-box offering to customers. Kadian confirms, “we have performed a lot of integrations, but if we want to scale, we need system integrators, such as HPE OEM, to do this for us.”
“Being an HPE partner gives us visibility on lead times, volume pricing, and discounts,” says Ridel “These are complex times due to supply chain challenges; the HPE and Airspan partnership alleviates the uncertainty to meet the commitments with our customers.”
Future-proofing the communications industry
The orchestration layer of the HPE 5G Core Stack enables network operators to manage thousands of virtual machines and hundreds of virtual and containerized network functions across their respective networks. “You don’t have to over‑dimension the software for each specific radio to cope with traffic spikes,” explains Mayal. “The resources can be virtualized and moved with the flow of traffic.”
The 5G network in a box offers simpler network management, lower costs, and increased security, as well as the flexibility to create networks on-premises or in the cloud, as close to the end-users as needed to reduce latency for specific applications.
In closing, Mayal explains, “there are three main pillars in our combined technology that are the foundation for our customers’ success: one is cost reduction, another is innovation—opening the market and creating competition accelerates innovation—and the last, but not least, is security. Open RAN is based on standardized interfaces, which eliminates back-door threats and increases the level of security and transparency that can be set in the network.”
“HPE and Airspan work together proactively to validate the integration and make the customer experience simple.”
– Jitender Kadian, Vice President of Sales, Strategic Accounts in North America, Airspan
HPE solution overview
With the help of HPE OEM Solutions, Airspan delivers a 5G starter kit, which is a simple and flexible standalone Open RAN network offering with plug‑and-play deployment capability that runs on the HPE 5G Core Stack.
- Delivers a 5G private network in just days—not months
- Reduces 5G CAPEX and OPEX by up to 40%
- Simplifies the deployment of private networks
- HPE ProLiant DL360 Gen10 Plus server
- HPE ProLiant DL110 Gen10 Plus server
- 3rd generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors
- Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform
Airspan Networks Holdings Inc. (NYSE American: MIMO) is a U.S.-based provider of groundbreaking, disruptive software and hardware for 5G networks, and a pioneer in end-to-end Open RAN solutions that provide interoperability with other vendors. As a result of innovative technology and significant investments to build and expand 5G solutions, Airspan believes it is well-positioned with 5G indoor and outdoor, Open RAN private networks for enterprise customers and industrial use applications. It also includes fixed wireless access (FWA) and CBRS solutions to help mobile network operators of all sizes deploy their networks of the future, today. With over one million cells shipped to 1,000 customers in more than 100 countries, Airspan has global scale. For more information, visit airspan.com.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the edge-to-cloud company that helps organizations accelerate outcomes by unlocking value from all of their data, everywhere. Built on decades of reimagining the future and innovating to advance the way people live and work, HPE delivers unique, open, and intelligent technology solutions, with a consistent experience across all clouds and edges, to help customers develop new business models, engage in new ways, and increase operational performance.
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