Samsung has signed an agreement with IBM’s Red Hat virtualization unit that makes it the first major RAN vendor to commit to building 5G services on Red Hat’s whole cloud platform. This alliance is designed to accelerate Samsung’s progress towards a virtualized and open RAN offering, which it plans to make commercially available this year.
The Korean vendor will use Red Hat’s whole hybrid cloud portfolio, including OpenShift container orchestration, OpenStack, Enterprise Linux, Ansible Automation Platform and OpenShift Container Storage. These will support the 5G vRAN and also Samsung’s cloud-native 5G core and edge computing.
Other major RAN vendors are working with OpenShift, but Samsung is the first to adopt Red Hat’s implementation of the Kubernetes container platform, at least publicly.
Ian Hood, chief technologist at Red Hat, said others would follow but Samsung was ahead of vendors with greater incumbency, because they are held to service level agreements (SLA) by operators. He told SDxCentral: “It’s a balancing act for being able to deliver what the operator wants you to deliver at the right cost point, meet the SLA, and make sure that we’ve got mature, secure technology. We’re not quite there yet with all the pieces in the open RAN.”
Hood added: “Red Hat OpenShift is the new horizontal telco cloud. The containerized horizontal cloud is first being deployed in wireless core networks, but next up will be the RAN portion.”