IBM, Flex and FIT to open Telecoms Solutions Center for 5G in Latin America

IBM, Flex and FIT (Flex Institute of Technology) have announced a collaboration agreement to launch the Center for Telecommunications Solutions for 5G, a modern research and testing center for help telecommunication operators and companies evaluate ways to promote open hybrid cloud technologies in 5G mobile networks in Latin America.

Located in Brazil, the center will use open architectures like the Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) to develop a simulated environment for organizations to test their innovations.

IDC studies estimate that data consumption will remain high in Latin America in 2021. The arrival of 5G in the region will drive significant investments in mobile technologies, opening a wide range of new use cases for the general public, and especially for companies, which will be able to use applications that require higher connection speed, higher traffic capacity and very low latency, while increasing security. In Brazil alone, 5G is expected to provide $ 22.5 billion in opportunities over the next four years 1.

As part of the agreement, IBM will provide technology, services, and industry expertise to help companies explore creating solutions for 5G networks, offering hybrid and open cloud solutions, such as Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat OpenShift, and solutions. cloud natives such as artificial intelligence, security and IoT.

Flex, a leader in outsourced design and manufacturing services for 5G infrastructure and wireless products, will provide electronic equipment to assist with signal delivery and measurement, while FIT will provide additional expertise in IT and telecommunications.

Using the testing environment, organizations will be able to co-develop Open RAN-based prototypes and benchmarks to maximize the benefit of open 5G networks in various sectors, such as agribusiness, transportation, healthcare, utilities, retail, and banking. For example, a healthcare company could use the center’s open hybrid cloud solutions to test a 5G-enabled application prototype, using AI and edge so that a hospital can take scans remotely.

“5G will fundamentally change business across industries. As telcos and enterprises embrace open and hybrid cloud platforms, they are already implementing solutions to capture the tangible benefits of 5G and its integration with technologies such as AI, IoT and Video in the edge, to drive competitive differentiation, “said Tonny Martins , General Manager of IBM Latin America. “This collaboration builds on IBM’s industry and technology expertise and our longstanding commitment to helping companies in the region take advantage of new and emerging technologies to capture the enormous new value that will be created.”

The Telecommunications Solutions Center for 5G will offer companies in Brazil and Latin America:

Co-creation of use cases and studies based on open, unbundled and software-defined networks, such as the Open RAN architecture for 5G, using solutions based on Red Hat OpenStack Platform, Red Hat OpenShift, and IBM hybrid cloud technologies.

Access to a global network of IBM innovation and knowledge, through experts from different countries to exchange experiences and practices in open 5G, edge , cloud and security, as well as advances in automation and AI-infused operations (AIOps).

Implementation of MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and ROI evaluation for business.

Focus on developing new skill sets to foster innovation and new discoveries in open 5G and Open RAN networks.

“Many of the benefits of 5G networks come from a greater reliance on software in cloud environments than previous generations of wireless technology. As the first users of 5G technology, business leaders must ensure that their technology adoption evolves to to support and leverage the benefits of latency and increased bandwidth, while managing the explosion of data and endpoints . Flex is committed to co-creating this new future with IBM, FIT, and business, “said Carlos Ohde , Chief Innovation Officer, FIT .

Algar Telecom is the first to carry out a proof of concept with Open RAN

Algar Telecom, the telecommunications and IT company of the Algar Group , is the first company to participate in end-to-end trials with Open RAN at the center. This includes proofs of concept and evaluation tests to demonstrate the feasibility of other advanced mobile phone solutions that will accelerate the adoption of 5G in Brazil.

“Open RAN technology has the potential to bring a series of advantages to the telecommunications industry as a whole. Among them are the reduction of CAPEX and OPEX costs and greater independence in the access market, allowing the entry of new partners, in addition to the major players “, comments Luis Lima , Vice President of Operations, Technology and Digital Evolution of Algar Telecom.

As 5G and Edge Computing evolve, telcos are transforming their networks into flexible platforms that can scale to support increasing volumes of complex data. An open source architecture helps expand the partner ecosystem and offers flexibility for telcos and businesses to build and deploy new applications in any on-premises or cloud environment of their choice. IBM is committed to adopting the Open RAN architecture, along with many other companies, as the foundation for the important RAN layer of 5G networks.