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HPE opens 5G kit-testing lab where vendors can play with the toys, see what works best
Friday, 24 July 2020 02:02

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has cut the ribbon on a new lab that will allow cellular vendors to test interoperable networking kit.

The outift's 5G Lab, located in the Colorado city of Fort Collins, is designed to allow operators to mix and match networking kit in order to determine whether a particular combination works well together.

HPE has already signed up several hardware and software vendors – including Nokia, Intel, Red Hat and MetaSwitch – all of which contributed technology and expertise to the firm's 5G Lab. Access is also available to operators that have joined HPE's Partner Ready Program.

Separately, interested operators will be able to road-test HPE's kit. The firm offers several products in this space, including a cloud-native core network stack on a "pay-as-you-use model," as well as infrastructure to power mobile-based edge computing. The latter will become more relevant as 5G SA starts to overtake existing 5G NSA networks.

Given the ongoing Huawei saga, this 5G Lab is pertinent. Historically, mobile networks have consisted of distinct and often fundamentally incompatible technologies, resulting in vendor lock-in.

By design, 5G changes that. The standards set out by the 3GPP emphasise modularity – thereby welcoming open hardware and software standards. As a result, it's not uncommon for 5G networks to consist of elements from a variety of suppliers like Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia and Huawei.

There's an ongoing push from both operators and governments for supply-chain diversification. The banning of Huawei in much of the West has taught networks a painful lesson about having a sizeable proportion of their eggs in one basket.

"Governments and telecoms operators around the world are looking to open 5G technologies as an opportunity to move away from a number of vendors which have raised fundamental concerns around security, resilience and market diversification," said Phil Mottram, vice president and general manager of Communications and Media Solutions at HPE, in a statement.

"However, despite multiple successful deployments, doubts still persist about the ability of open 5G technologies to truly replace the old way of building networks. With the launch of the HPE 5G Lab, telcos, solution vendors and national stakeholders can test innovative new solutions with confidence and ensure that they are ready for mass adoption." ®

Source: https://bit.ly/3jCKBUc