ADVA, BT and Mavenir Collaborate on Cloud RAN technologies as part of Telecom Infra Project

26 February 2018

The companies will be exploring the benefits of Cloud RAN and Fronthaul transport in the UK TIP Community Lab

Richardson, TX – February 26, 2018 - ADVA, BT and Mavenir have announced that they will be collaborating on a number of research projects at the UK’s Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Community Lab based at the BT Labs in Adastral Park, Ipswich.

TIP is an engineering-focused initiative driven by operators, suppliers, developers, integrators, and startups, aimed at challenging the traditional methods used for the deployment of network infrastructure.

At the BT Labs, ADVA, BT and Mavenir will be testing and validating the benefits of Cloud RAN (vRAN) using non-ideal infrastructure for fronthaul, to try and promote innovation in future mobile network deployments. The approach is to investigate and test solutions that will dynamically reduce the cost of future network deployment by reconsidering fronthaul technologies that have previously been rejected.

Today, the fronthaul between the BaseBand Control Unit (BBU) and the Remote Radio Unit (RRU) typically utilizes a fibre optic based transmission medium incorporating a proprietary CPRI (Common Public Radio Interface) specification. This interface has restricted innovation and excluded low-cost deployment technologies such as Ethernet or point-to-point microwave.  For many parts of the world where fibre is too costly or difficult to obtain, operators are unable to deploy vRAN technology. The project aims to change the status quo by evaluating fronthaul interfaces that use only one tenth of the current bandwidth and support high latencies, thereby enabling the use of copper Ethernet connections or point-to-point microwaves.

The initiative has reached the testing phase with the deployment of an end-to-end vRAN system  incorporating Mavenir and ADVA technologies.

 “It’s great to be collaborating with a number of partners at our dedicated TIP Lab in Adastral Park. The results of our research so far into Cloud RAN and fronthaul demonstrate that an Ethernet medium using CAT 5 Connectivity uses one tenth of the bandwidth when compared to a CPRI interface,” said Richard MacKenzie, Principal Researcher, BT.

“This project will also demonstrate the ability to mix RRU suppliers connected to the Mavenir virtual BBU supported on COTs white box platforms. Through this testing and mix of suppliers, we are demonstrating that we can truly disrupt the current ecosystem.”

“We are excited about the challenges presented by TIP and are pleased to support these activities as we continue to deploy Open Interface Cloud RAN in other TIP Community Labs,” said John Baker, SVP Access Business Development at Mavenir. “Cloud RAN can save the carrier greater than 37% in both OPEX and Capex using non-fibre optic solutions.”

“At ADVA, we firmly believe that the virtualization of the RAN is one of the critical building blocks in creating tomorrow’s mobile networks. That’s why we’re so focused on helping to drive TIP’s vRAN Fronthaul project forward,” said James Buchanan, General Manager at ADVA’s Ensemble Division. “Within this project, we’re using our Ensemble Connector to show how simple it is to host vRANs on white boxes. In fact, we’re showcasing the solution this month on our booth at Mobile World Congress, Barcelona. What we’re demonstrating in Barcelona is the first step on the path to vRAN commercialization. What follows next is to clearly define the underlying requirements of the transport and Carrier Ethernet network, including synchronization and OAM – something we’re working on closely with BT, Mavenir and our other TIP vRAN Fronthaul Project Group partners.”

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