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Orange tests cloud-native 5G standalone network in France

Orange will begin deploying a standalone 5G network in Lannion, with expansion expected in 2022.

Orange has launched a test stand-alone (SA) 5G network in France to evaluate the benefits of the cloud, artificial intelligence and new radio technologies for its work and customer experience.

Currently, most 5G networks use a non-standard (NSA) architecture that connects the LTE core to new radios that support 5G bands. The next step, 5G SA, is to replace this evolved package kernel with a new 5G core native to the cloud. Virtualization of key network functions and data aggregation will make the introduction of new services faster and easier and will allow service providers to better adapt to market trends.

In addition, SA 5G will enable network cutting by allowing service providers to offer personalized service customers, each with their own quality of service tailored to their specific needs.

The idea is to run Orange’s experimental network as a fully zero-touch cloud-based network, automatically providing services and fixing problems while using data to optimize infrastructure. The network will also offer a look at Open RAN and how an open network can coexist with other technologies.

“Our ambition is to prepare Orange for the operator of the future by building more sustainable and automatically adaptive networks that offer best-in-class service quality in every situation,” said Michael Trabia, Orange’s Chief Technology Officer. “This experimental network is an important milestone in our way of deploying and deploying Open RAN and AI technologies to prepare on-demand connectivity and zero operator touch capabilities.”

The network will also host the OSS (Operations Support System), BSS (Business Support System – CRM and invoicing), and scaling Orange’s ambition with AI protection and optimization. of the network and predict its behavior.

Orange is working with several industry partners, including Mavenir, who will bring their own The MAVair family of virtualized Open RAN software solutions which will take advantage of artificial intelligence and machine learning platforms to enable RAN to bend and adapt based on use and coverage. In addition, Casa Systems will be responsible for the core network, HPE will provide cloud-based subscriber data management capabilities, and Dell will provide Xiaomi hardware and devices.

Deployment will begin in Lannion, with expansion expected in 2022.

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