IBM and Airspan Networks have recently announced plans to integrate on the roll-out of a 5G enabled Open RAN testbed across the IBM Watson IoT Center in Munich, Germany, and IBM’s Global Industry Solution Center (GISC) in Nice, France in order to present long-distance control over 5G-enabled edge computing.
The main target of developing this testbed is to aid clients over Europe innovate and create multi-vendor solutions designed to address different customer use case needs. These case needs are based on open, interoperable standards, along with optimizing the performance. IBM Global Business Services and Airspan are all set to work collaboratively to boost the adoption of Open RAN technology and the ecosystem of the same incorporating IBM’s leading global hybrid cloud and Artificial Intelligence (AI) Orchestration services.
The Open RAN testbed will be working to take the development of Open RAN software and hardware solutions to an advanced level. It will also help in end-to-end interoperability testing with private 5G stand-alone core networks. The two companies are going to offer the opportunity to collaborate, integrate and test features for the next-generation campus networks to customers and partners.
Integrated Solutions Offering
As a part of the integration between the companies, Airspan Network is offering its Open RAN AirVelocity 2700 indoor radio unit and virtualized Open RAN Centralized Unit (vCU) and Distributed Unit (vDU) OpenRANGE software to help the customers in testing and validating 5G private network solutions utilizing Open RAN. As per the expectations, IBM will offer its Global Business Services Technology integration services.
Moreover, the company will also offer the IBM Cloud Pak for Network Automation and IBM Cloud Pak for Watson AIOps, to enable the customers to manage efficiently and orchestrate edge cloud implementation and applications. Not only this, but the IBM Global Business Services team is also trying to implement a visual inspection application for customers to further extend Industry 4.0 5G edge computing use cases on Open RAN.
Other Major Announcements by IBM
In 2021, IBM also announced the Open RAN Center of Excellence in Spain to speed up the progress of Open RAN and standard-based technologies in Europe. Airspan also announced, in May 2021, the launching of a 5G innovation lab in the UK as a presentation and demonstration facility for customers, partners, and government institutions, to focus on the development of Open RAN software, 5G sub 6 GHz, and mmWave indoor and outdoor equipment, and private network use cases.
Airspan and IBM Global Business Services are collaboratively working towards definitive agreements detailing joint plans to boost the adoption of Open RAN technology and its ecosystem incorporating IBM’s leading global hybrid cloud and AI orchestration services.
Airspan Official’s Take
Airspan Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Henrik Smith-Petersen said that via critical collaboration with leaders like IBM and testing in these labs, which could help in accelerating the development of Open RAN and 5G solutions and the open architecture system.
Mr. Smith-Petersen further said that the organization has a collective belief that they can continue to be at the forefront of innovation and industry disruption through end-to-end Open RAN solutions.