UPDATED 09:00 EDT / SEPTEMBER 28 2020

5g-network-concept-background_23-2148262313 INFRA

Red Hat and Samsung partner to build cloud-native 5G network infrastructure

Red Hat Inc. said today it’s teaming up with Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. to create a horizontal, cloud-native 5G networking platform for telecommunications providers that’s based on the Red Hat OpenShift platform.

The collaboration is important because telecommunications providers need to adopt new communications infrastructure in order to enable 5G. One of the key components of 5G infrastructure is virtualized radio access networks.

Traditional radio access networks, or RANs, are the antennas and base stations that provide connectivity. A vRAN is essentially a new way of setting up this infrastructure that’s more efficient. Red Hat said it intends to combine its Red Hat OpenShift container application platform based on Kubernetes with Samsung’s 5G vRAN platform, vCore and MEC management and analytics technologies.

The idea is to build a horizontal cloud network that supports virtual network functions and virtualized containerized network functions, Red Hat said. VNFs are virtualized tasks formerly carried out by proprietary, dedicated hardware. They move individual network functions out of dedicated hardware devices into software that runs on commodity hardware. CNFs take care of the same tasks using software that’s distributed as a container image and can be managed using container-management tools such as Kubernetes.

Red Hat said its new network will provide immediate benefits for telcos, allowing them to use the same 5G infrastructure for multiple tasks including delivering 5G core, edge computing, “internet of things” and machine learning, while reducing management and operational expenses.

The company cites a Red Hat sponsored report from ACG Research that shows these kinds of horizontal networking platforms can reduce the total cost of ownership of 5G infrastructure by up to 30% compared with siloed, vertically integrated vRANs. Telcos will also be able to support new applications and services that are based on location awareness, lower latencies and higher scalability, Red Hat said.

“From helping businesses in their edge computing solutions to ensuring enterprises can successfully deploy their artificial intelligence and machine learning applications, we expect these services to be built on a proven, cloud-native infrastructure,” said Chris Wright, Red Hat’s senior vice president and chief technology officer.

Image: Freepik

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