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Altran deals highlight the importance of reference designs for low cost 5G

One of the hopes that operators have for 5G is that it will usher in a new architecture and ecosystem, which will greatly reduce their total cost of ownership. A more open, WiFi-like network, made up of commoditized hardware running mix-and-match virtual network functions (VNFs), selected and deployed as simply as downloading smartphone apps from an app store. That is the vision – and of course, many challenges of technology, standards, trust and vendor hostility stand in the way. But open source software and standards for VNF orchestration are slowly emerging to shift the assumptions about what a cellular network should cost. And in hardware, open source is even reaching the chip level with initiatives like RISC-V starting to infiltrate…

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