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Industry leaders join Rakuten Symphony at MWC 2023 to discuss next-gen networks

March 31, 2023
minute read

At MWC Barcelona 2023, Rakuten Symphony executives joined leading thinkers from AT&T, Dell, F5, Google, Harman, Juniper and Intel for a series of recorded Network Media Group discussions.

The conversations touched on a range of topics, including private networks, 5G, Open RAN, disaggregated networks, network security, the benefits of cloud networks and how to integrate cloud in a brownfield operator network. The sessions were informative, featuring case studies, standards body updates, product discussions and more.

Below are full recordings from the event:

Symware™ 2.0 Platform: Rakuten Symphony x Intel

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Udayan Mukherjee, Senior Fellow, Network & Edge Group, Intel; and Raghunath Hariharan, CTO, Rakuten Symphony.

In this video, Rakuten Symphony and Intel discuss the six years of co-development that led to the launch of the Symware 2.0 distributed unit (DU) platform. The speakers discuss the software advances that led to virtualizing layer one processing using Flex RAN and how the Symware 2.0 DU platform was able to take advantage of the performance and integration and power management of the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors to deliver the best power consumption, performance and price.

Mobility with private networks

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Joe Mosele, VP for Mobility, IoT and 5G at AT&T; Suman Sehra, VP of Products and Innovation, Harman; and Mahesh Kasar, Senior VP and Head of Partner Alliances, Rakuten Symphony.

Private networks were a hot topic at MWC Barcelona. In this session, the expert panel discusses how network slicing can particularly benefit private 5G networks, allowing customization for different use cases in the process, and bringing real-world use cases in manufacturing, automotive, smart city and smart ports.

Future of Open RAN disaggregated networks

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Constantine Polychronopoulos, Group Vice president of 5G and Telco Cloud, Juniper Networks; Robert Soni, Vice President of RAN Technology, AT&T; and Mehran Hadipour, VP of Business Development and Technology Alliances, Rakuten Symphony.

Since the last MWC Barcelona event, Open RAN has matured, with new capabilities and network trials that have strengthened the solutions. One of those advancements is the RIC - which is described as a paradigm shift for Open RAN, allowing the next level of network software control, enabling network slicing and providing the ability to program the radio for the first time.

AT&T sees Open RAN as the future of its network and is now deploying service management and orchestration (SMO) functionality and moving to embrace the RIC and explore how third-party applications can bring new functionality to the network.

Open RAN security

From left: Abraham Nejad, Publisher, Network Media Group; Nagendra Bykampadi, Head of Security Architecture and Standards, Rakuten Symphony; and Richard Lopez, Senior Strategic Architect, F5.

Open RAN uses open interfaces and components that come from a variety of vendors which has the potential to open networks to new security challenges. The panel begun with a discussion of different aspects of an Open RAN system that must be secured, including containers, automation systems, RAN intelligent controller and more. While the security challenges continue to evolve, the panel agrees that the work of Open RAN vendors and standards bodies have brought security standards and best practices to the point where Open RAN is secure to deploy.

Cloud driving 5G innovation in telco

From left: Ron Westfall, principal analyst, Futurum; Vivek Chadha, Senior VP and Global Head of Telco Cloud, Rakuten Symphony; Kevin Shatzhamer, Digital Transformation Officer, Telecom, Google Cloud; and Ram Ramanathan, Senior director of Product Management, Ribbon Communications.

MNOs have made great strides in adopting cloud native technologies in their networks, and there has been a confluence of milestones that is driving an increased adoption of cloud native platforms. These include the maturity of Kubernetes for real world networks, a better understanding and experience of the technology by MNO staff so they understand how they can use the technology, and the growth in vendor ecosystem and in container network functions that offer value to the MNO network. In this video, the panelists discuss the trends and benefits of using cloud native technologies.

Simplifying cloud transformation for telcos

From left: Timon Sloane, GM, Open Networking Foundation; Vish Nandlall, VP of Technology Strategy and Ecosystems, Dell Technologies; and Mehran Hadipour, VP of Business Development and Technology Alliances, Rakuten Symphony.

For MNOs to further adopt telco cloud services requires a significant reduction in the complexity of the migration process. This session covers how Dell and Rakuten Symphony work together to offer the entire stack of cloud and orchestration services for telco functions. The collaboration between the two companies features Dell’s stable and high performance hardware with Redfish APIs. The Rakuten Symphony cloud software can utilize these APIs for zero touch provisioning for remote deployments.

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