HPE offers operators as-a-service 5G core software stack

GreenLake cloud-native technologies from HPE and Aruba designed to help telcos build and deploy 5G networks and better integrate with Wi-Fi 6 networks

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has unveiled a new portfolio of as-a-service offerings designed to help telecommunications companies build and deploy open 5G networks with what it says is a more rapid path to revenue and redefined experiences at the enterprise edge.

HPE said 5G promises to revolutionise the technology landscape, but the journey to pervasive 5G is in its early stages. It added that to realise the benefits and power of 5G, a standalone 5G core needs to be combined with the nascent 5G radio access networks (RANs).

HPE noted that previous-generation networks have often depended on proprietary vertically integrated systems from a single supplier, but said 5G offers the opportunity to move to open, cloud-native platforms based on commercial off-the-shelf servers along with modular software components from different suppliers, allowing telcos to monetise innovative 5G services more quickly.

HPE also believes that at the edge of the telco network, legacy network infrastructure in the RAN also uses proprietary network technology that can result in high operational costs and limited agility. It argues that, given that the higher frequencies of 5G have issues in penetrating buildings, telcos will need to be able to use both 5G RAN and Wi-Fi 6 networks in the enterprise in order to provide uninterrupted service to their customers as they enter shopping malls, campuses and office buildings.

HPE said its new 5G portfolio offers the solution to these 5G challenges at the core, at the edge, and in the enterprise, and promises to unleash the potential of 5G, enabling a host of new applications across a range of industries, including automotive, education, financial services, government, manufacturing and utilities.

It is also designed to accelerate telcos’ path to revenue growth with 5G and enable them to deploy 5G services rapidly to deliver dynamic, personalised and real-time experiences.

The new edge-to-cloud platform uses cloud-native software stack for 5G core, optimised telco core and edge infrastructure blueprints, and Wi-Fi 6-enabled services. Built on open and interoperable platforms combined with what are said to be carrier-grade infrastructure and modular software components, the portfolio is engineered to allow telcos to incorporate more automation, become more agile, and deploy new 5G services faster across the telco core, the telco edge and into the enterprise.

The new cloud-native, container-based HPE 5G core software stack is built to give telcos the core network capabilities required to rapidly deliver new 5G services to subscribers and enterprise customers. At the telco edge, the new system enables virtual radio access networks (vRANs) and multi-access edge computing (MEC).

The purpose-built offerings are designed to provide telcos with an IT service environment at the cellular network edge. At the enterprise edge, Aruba Central services, including Air Pass Wi‑Fi/5G roaming and Air Slice SLA management, can help telcos extend a 5G footprint to where people, devices and things interact to drive positive business outcomes by allowing seamless access to Wi-Fi-connected users and IoT devices.

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The infrastructure is delivered as-a-service, available via a pay-as-you-go, managed services and elastic model, providing telcos with a fast ramp to roll out 5G services by enabling them to reduce upfront capital investments and reduce risk by leveraging specialised and proven telco and enterprise edge hardware and software.

“Openness is essential to the evolutionary nature of 5G,” said Phil Mottram, vice-president and general manager of HPE Communications and Media Solutions. “With multi-generational networks, where services delivered across 3G, 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi and edge networks will be common, service providers need to reduce operational costs and keep themselves open to multiple networks and technologies while avoiding being locked in to a single vendor approach.

“Investing in a new 5G network before the revenue streams are there is a financial and technical challenge for many carriers, but with HPE 5G Core Stack, telcos can start deployments today and pay for the infrastructure as their revenue grows.”

The full HPE 5G Core Stack will be available globally in the second half of 2020 through HPE GreenLake as a service.

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