Samsung is linking up with VMware to integrate its network core, edge, and radio access network (RAN) offerings with VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform. The agreement calls for Samsung to extend its support for cloud-native architecture by adapting its suite of products for containerized network functions (CNFs) and virtual network functions (VNFs) on VMware’s software stack and network automation services.
The partnership with VMware follows a run of efforts taken by Samsung of late to join the wave of 5G network virtualization. The vendor plans to release a fully virtualized 5G RAN portfolio with a virtual centralized unit, a virtual distributed unit, and software that allows operators to move from dedicated baseband hardware to x86-based servers before the end of the year.
Samsung also recently inked a deal with Red Hat that makes it the first major RAN vendor to publicly build 5G services on OpenShift. Samsung said it has been working with VMware at its lab to integrate and validate its VNFs and CNFs for virtualized RAN, the 5G core, mobile edge computing, management, and analytics with VMware’s Telco Cloud Platform.
The result of those efforts will allow mobile network operators to onboard and deploy new 5G services more quickly and efficiently, the companies said. VMware already has similar deals in place with Nokia and Ericsson, two of Samsung’s largest competitors in the RAN space.
Samsung Seizes Kubernetes
“The infrastructure supporting 5G will depend on virtualized and containerized network functions delivered from software-defined telco and edge cloud platforms,” Shekar Ayyar, EVP and GM at VMware’s telco and edge cloud business. More than 120 service providers are already using VMware to run network infrastructure, according to VMware.
VMware and Red Hat are both relying heavily on Kubernetes to allow operators to build, manage, and run workloads across private or public clouds, telecommunications network infrastructure, and the edge. Many operators that previously deployed virtualized infrastructure are now planning to bring cloud-native capabilities into the mix.
“5G investments will continue to accelerate globally, and over time, communications service providers will expand their focus on delivering enhanced mobile broadband to include ultra-reliable low-latency communications and massive machine-type communications, leveraging new core, edge, and RAN infrastructure,” Patrick Filkins, senior research analyst at IDC, said in a statement.
“To efficiently and simultaneously support these new services, communications service providers are best served adopting cloud-native architectures that can provide the service agility, accelerated innovation, and end-to-end optimization to meet today and tomorrow’s customer requirements,” he said.