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HPE announces worldwide remote access to new 5G lab

27 Jul 2020

Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has unveiled the HPE 5G Lab, a test and development environment where telcos and partners can validate and integrate 5G network solutions. 

Using the Lab, telcos can speed up 5G adoption and access new revenues faster by getting hands-on experience with the latest 5G innovations in a live test environment. 

Located in Fort Collins, Colorado, access is available worldwide to customers and HPE partners via remote access and includes the provision of personnel to manage and operate the lab environment, as well as assist with integration and testing. 

The HPE 5G Lab has already gained support from key industry leaders including Affirmed Networks, Casa Systems, Intel, JMA Wireless, Metaswitch, Nokia, Openet and Red Hat.

This year, HPE has also introduced HPE 5G Core Stack, an open, cloud-native 5G core network software stack; the HPE Resource Aggregator for Open Distributed Infrastructure Management, simplifying the management of telco grade compute infrastructure for 5G across thousands of sites; and HPE Edge Orchestrator, enabling telcos to deliver computing services to customers at the edge of telco networks. 

The HPE 5G Lab provides a proving ground enabling telcos, network equipment providers and independent software vendors (ISVs) to validate these technologies, prepare for mass adoption and invest with confidence.

5G standards have been designed so telcos can build their 5G networks with open, cloud-native platforms that utilise modular software and hardware components from different vendors, allowing them to deploy new 5G services faster, more securely and in a more flexible way. However, this represents a big shift in a market that previously relied on proprietary, vertically-integrated systems. 

“Governments and telecoms operators around the world are looking to open 5G technologies as an opportunity to move away from a number of vendors which have raised fundamental concerns around security, resilience and market diversification,” says HPE vice president and communications and media solutions general manager Phil Mottram. 

“However, despite multiple successful deployments, doubts still persist about the ability of open 5G technologies to truly replace the old way of building networks. With the launch of the HPE 5G Lab, telcos, solution vendors and national stakeholders can test innovative new solutions with confidence and ensure that they are ready for mass adoption.”

By taking an open approach, telcos now have the flexibility to work with practically any independent software vendor (ISV) or best-of-breed solution provider to create tailored networking solutions tuned to specific verticals and use cases. 

The HPE 5G Lab encourages telcos, vendors and platform providers to come together to test, document, and validate their technologies as a single solution.

The initial focus of the HPE 5G Lab will be to bring innovation to the previously monolithic cellular network core. 

To fully realise the benefits and power of 5G, initial deployments of 5G radio access networks, currently utilising 4G core infrastructure need to migrate to a standalone 5G core. 

This will enable holistic management, data sharing, and slicing into virtual 5G networks with dedicated usage and characteristics. 

The HPE 5G Core Stack is truly open, allowing telcos to swap out network functions (NFs) as needed and therefore stay nimble and ahead of the competition. 

The 5G Lab enables telcos to test and validate multiple NFs from different vendors whilst relying on HPE for integration with the HPE 5G Core Stack.

The lab is based around HPE 5G portfolio solutions and will include multiple 5G related products and solutions:

  • HPE 5G Core Stack - including 5G network functions from HPE and our partners, HPE Shared Data Environment (SDE) and orchestration layer
     
  • HPE Telco Cloud - including industry-standard servers, storage and networking components to run the 5G network, along with cloud and container platform software such as HPE Ezmeral Container Platform, Red Hat OpenShift, Red Hat OpenStack platform, and VMware Tanzu
     
  • HPE Telco Blueprints for Core and Edge - including the infrastructure and VM stacks, supporting both third-party and HPE solutions such as the HPE 5G Core Stack and HPE Edge Orchestrator
     
  • Aruba networking equipment supporting telco-provisioned services for enterprise and Wi-Fi 6/5G interworking

To access the HPE 5G Lab and achieve validation with the 5G Core Stack, ISVs first need to join the HPE Partner Ready programme. 

This will allow them to demonstrate compliance with 3GPP standards and benefit from HPE’s growing 5G ecosystem, including HPE’s global salesforce, go-to-market support and innovative delivery models through HPE GreenLake and HPE Financial Services.

The HPE 5G Lab is fully operational and is currently being used to finalise integration of partner network functions within the HPE 5G Core Stack.

Red Hat vertical industries and accounts vice president Darrell Jordan-Smith says that “Red Hat is excited to continue our work with HPE to advance open source technologies and principles to help organisations look to deploy their next generation 5G networks. With the integration of our industry leading container platform, Red Hat OpenShift, to the HPE 5G Core Stack and the new HPE 5G Lab, businesses can be empowered to test, innovate and build on an open cloud-native infrastructure.”