20 Jan 2021
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Juniper Networks and Turk Telekom Group work to develop Open RAN 5G ecosystem

By Catherine Knowles

Juniper Networks and Turk Telekom Group, Turkey’s first and largest integrated telecom operator, have completed their technology and commercial partnership, designed to support the development of the Open RAN (Open Radio Access Network) 5G ecosystem.

The partnership comprises of an exclusive global licensing agreement with Netsia, a subsidiary of Turk Telekom Group company Argela in the USA, to transfer its Radio Intelligent Controller (RIC) technology to Juniper.

This includes related source code and patents plus exclusive rights to develop and sell products and solutions that integrate with RIC.

The partnership also includes permanent transfer of technical domain experts from Netsia to Juniper in support of RIC’s integration into Juniper’s product portfolio, further strengthening Juniper’s Open RAN and 5G expertise.

Finally, the partnership comprises of the commitment of purchase of Juniper products and solutions by Turk Telekom to support its next generation Open RAN and 5G deployment.

This will include an initial proof-of-concept project expected in late 2021, which will incorporate RIC technology and Juniper’s broader portfolio.

The Netsia 4G and 5G RIC is in the advanced stage of development following approximately five years of research and development, and numerous proof-of-concept trials already successfully completed or underway with major service providers around the world.

RIC technology helps to operationalise Open RAN by providing intelligent, cloud-based control of disaggregated and virtualised radio functions across the access and edge domains, the company states.

It is also an important component of end-to-end network slicing, enabling ‘tuning’ of various radio access resources to reliably deliver against granular SLAs for specific use cases.

In addition, RIC unlocks innovation in the radio domain by leveraging both near-real-time and non-real-time user and network data to create and deploy AI-driven applications and services.

Collectively, the products and solutions resulting from this agreement will enable Turk Telekom and other service providers to deploy open, intelligent 5G radio infrastructure, eventually strengthening the Open RAN and 5G ecosystem.

Coupled with Juniper’s existing domain orchestration portfolio (NorthStar in the transport domain and Contrail in the data centre domain), this agreement will further extend Juniper’s network slicing capabilities across the radio, transport and telco cloud domains, the company states.

Juniper and Turk Telekom state the teams are equally committed to the importance of open and agile architectures, in particular the evolution of vRAN architectures in the Open RAN community.

Juniper and Netsia are both active members of the O-RAN Alliance.

Turk Telekom CEO Ümit Önal says, “We have been working for a long time on cutting-edge RIC technologies that will play an active role in setting global 5G standards.

"The software developed by Netsia provides high capacity, scalable, flexible, personalised network and service solutions for the mobile communication needs of the future.

"We have achieved a strong synergy with the combination of Netsia's know-how and productisation capacity with Juniper's customer network and geographic reach.

"As Turk Telekom Group, we are incredibly happy to offer our products, which are the achievements of Turkish engineering, to the world.” 

Juniper Networks CEO Rami Rahim says, “Juniper believes that assuring the right service experience is key for monetising the next decade of 5G applications.

"Development and integration of world-class RIC technology brings this vision another step closer by enabling the combination of end-to-end network slicing and the power of AI-driven service experience.

"Our dynamic collaboration with Turk Telekom and Netsia is founded on shared principles of an open approach to technology development, the fundamental importance of disaggregation and programmability and the drive toward a cloud native infrastructure from the telco cloud into the services edge and radio networks.

"In short, our organisations agree that the cloud is the network and the network is the cloud.”

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