Argela and Türk Telekom have successfully realized world’s first RAN slicing demonstration in a commercial LTE-A network. This will enable Türk Telekom to develop innovative business applications for 5G technologies.
Türk Telekom, Turkey’s leading communication and entertainment technologies provider, and Argela, a leading provider of telecommunications solutions for mobile and fixed operators as well as government and public safety, jointly announced today that ProgRAN, Argela’s innovative, fully programmable radio access network (RAN) architecture allowing for dynamic RAN slicing has been successfully incorporated into Türk Telekom’s commercial LTE-A network.
The limited deployment covers an enterprise area in Istanbul’s commercial center, Maslak. There are plans on extending the demonstration to a second location in Turkey’s capital, Ankara in the near future.
“The cellular networks of today increasingly need to provide support for a wide range of use cases, potentially each with very different quality of service requirements,” said Firat Yaman Er, Chief Strategy and Business Planning Officer at Türk Telekom. “For economies of scale, it is imperative to develop a single, highly programmable network that can meet the diverse requirements of all these applications, and ensure that the network remains profitable for the operator. 5G aims to use network slices for this purpose. At Türk Telekom, we are excited to have realized the world’s first commercial deployment of RAN slicing. This will allow us to experiment with a fundamental 5G technology and innovate business solutions around it.”
“5G needs to be built in a flexible way so that capacity and coverage are allocated in virtual RAN slices to dynamically meet the demands of each potential use case,” said Bülent Kaytaz, Argela CEO. “A RAN architecture built on the pillars of software-defined networking and network virtualization is necessary to effectively use the limited wireless resources amongst increasingly diverse use cases. At Argela we have developed ProgRAN with 5G in mind, but also made sure that it is operational on today’s LTE networks so operators do not have to wait until 2020 to start using the network slicing technology. We are thrilled to see it in action on Türk Telekom’s commercial LTE-A network.
“ProgRAN’s dynamic RAN slicing capability carries the potential to link network services to new commercial opportunities for operators,” Kaytaz added. “ProgRAN allows RAN to programmatically adapt itself to different service requirements and customer experience needs. This means that an operator will be able to offer network functions to many different industries, such as IoT, healthcare or automative, using a RAN-As-A-Service business model.”
Argela’s ProgRAN provides a dynamically programmable RAN architecture. Its SDN-based programmability feature allows creation, modification, or termination of RAN slices in real-time, where each slice utilizes its own RAN control functions and governs its own wireless resources, allowing operators to quickly innovate new revenue generating services using the platform. Such potential services include massive IoT connectivity, mission-critical services, multimedia applications, MVNOs, Public Safety Networks, time and geography-limited resource reservations for public or private events, as well as dynamic RAN sharing.
“For each use case, ProgRAN dynamically creates a new RAN slice using a so-called profile definition,” explained Dr. M. Oguz Sunay, CTO at Argela-USA. “The ProgRAN profile specifies the size of the RAN slice, the identities of the eNodeBs and devices that are affected, the time duration for the slice as well as the desired RAN control functionalities to achieve the desired service quality. A ProgRAN-enabled network can have multiple such active profiles on the same or different parts of the network at a given time.”
“ProgRAN does not need a complete re-haul of an operator’s existing infrastructure. An operator may deploy ProgRAN capable base stations, or small cells, only in the geography where they feel such dynamic programmability is profitable. In such a deployment, ProgRAN seamlessly works with the rest of the network. This is demonstrated in Turk Telekom’s initial deployment of ProgRAN,” Dr. Sunay added.
A C-RAN implementation of ProgRAN is also available. Türk Telekom and Argela plan on extending their RAN slicing demonstration to include C-RAN platforms in the near future. Argela’s ProgRAN will be demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 27-March 2, 2017. Argela’s other innovative solutions will also be on display.