Wind River taking on 5G vRAN integration with Intel FlexRAN

Wind River, Intel joint development meant to give operators deployment flexibility, lower TCO of 5G vRAN systems

Operators globally are gradually undertaking the transition to standalone 5G which involves a transition to cloud-native core and virtualization of the radio access network. The implementation of vRAN, however, is tricky; a Heavy Reading analysis found the three big pain points are system integration, “operational complexity,” and performance of edge computing systems. 

To make this process easier, Wind River is using Intel’s Flex RAN reference software to develop a 5G vRAN solution built on the former’s Wind River Studio cloud-native platform “for the development, deployment, operations, and servicing of mission-critical intelligent systems.” Wind River Studio is container-based and uses open source Kubernetes for container orchestration. 

The idea is to give users pre-integrated “review evaluation packages” that should help get from the integration step to trial and deployment more quickly. The sooner operators can get this systems up and running and available to enterprise users, the faster operators can start generating new 5G service revenues. 

“As 5G opens up new opportunities across industries, there will be an increasing need to put greater intelligence and compute to the edges of the network, where new use cases evolve and thrive,” Wind River President and CEO Kevin Dallas said in a statement. 

Intel’s Dan Rodriguez, corporate vice president and GM of the Network Platforms Group, characterized the partnership as focused on giving “operators a path to fast-track successful vRAN deployments with validated hardware and software that can accelerate their 5G objectives.” 

For more perspective from Rodriguez on the intersection of cloud-native, open and virtualized RAN, the role of edge and more, check out this episode of the podcast Will 5G Change the World?

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