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NEC Corporation announced the launch of carrier-grade, cloud-native Open RAN software supporting its industry-leading digital beamforming of Massive MIMO (mMIMO). The solution will be available globally from the beginning of 2022.

5G Networks are increasingly adopting the cloud. The introduction of virtualization technologies in various layers of the network, from core to RAN, enables faster service provisioning and equipment cost reduction while shortening procurement lead times. Cloud-native architecture and operation allows network orchestration and automation at scale, thereby achieving improved service quality and reliability.

NEC’s cloud-native software delivers carrier-grade performance, cloud-grade scalability and cost effectiveness. To meet 5G’s high-speed, high-capacity requirements, it provides advanced control of full digital beamforming over 16 layers in downlink communications in systems where mMIMO is utilized. This implementation delivers large-capacity transmission as well as efficient and autonomous control depending on the service requirements and traffic conditions.

The solution fully supports O-RAN specifications and leverages the wide ecosystem of a variety of partners. This open RAN, cloud-native software is fully containerized and provides flexibility for deployment scenarios (on premises, private cloud, public cloud), geographies (urban, peri-urban, rural) and use cases (consumer, enterprise, government).

In addition to these products, NEC also offers a new windowRAN Domain Orchestration solution from its subsidiary Netcracker. The solution combines Netcracker’s industry-leading orchestration, OSS and analytics functions with NEC’s expertise in integrated network operation and management to fully automate all aspects of the RAN domain.

The solution is based on Netcracker’s cloud-native Digital OSS (operation support system). It runs on any Kubernetes(2) cloud platform and is compliant with open APIs and standardization, enabling collaboration with a variety of products from different Open RAN vendors.

NEC 5G products Global VP Product management Patrick Lopez said NEC is continuing with its tradition of market-leading innovation.

“NEC was the first vendor to develop virtualization technologies for communications networks. We were the first company to commercialize Open Flow(3), SDN controllers(4) and NFV(5) as well as the pioneer vendor to provide virtualized core networks. Today, by introducing cloud-native virtualization to the RAN as well, NEC accelerates the migration toward next-generation networks and contributes to unlocking the full potential of 5G,” said Patrick Lopez.

(1) Technologies with advanced MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output). A technology that simultaneously improves the quality stability of spatial multiplexing and radio propagation paths by taking advantage of the freedom of a large number of independent transceivers. In 5G, it was developed and introduced aiming at further frequency utilization efficiency improvement by spatial multiplexing in addition to orthogonal frequency multiplexing and time division multiplexing of 4G.
(2) Open source software that automates the deployment and scaling of containerized applications.
(3) Network technology that enables centralized network control by separating network control functions from switches and aggregating them into controllers.
(4) Software-Defined Networking: Concepts for software-controlled networking.
(5) Network Function Virtualization: A technology that virtualizes various functions that make up a network, such as router functions and firewall functions, and realizes network functions on a general-purpose server without using dedicated hardware.

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