Dell Technologies, Ericsson Ink Open RAN Cloud Partnership Deal

Dell Technologies and Sweden-based network equipment maker Ericsson have formed a strategic partnership through which the firms will combine their strengths in telecom software, solutions and support services to help communications services providers (CSPs) in the transition to Open RAN (radio access network) network cloud transformation strategies.

The partnership agreement announced on May 23 builds on the firms’ collaboration launched last year to develop cloud RAN solutions that leverage Ericsson’s Cloud RAN software and RAN equipment and Dell Technologies infrastructure.

Under terms of the agreement announced this week, the companies said they will work “alongside CSPs to develop simple and reliable Open RAN-based network cloud transformation strategies, using Dell and Ericsson integrated solutions and support.”

That work will include collaboration to “develop tailored network cloud transformation plans and advise CSPs on network architectures and operating models, while also reducing the risks associated with deploying on open, multi-vendor environments,” they said.

As part of that effort, Dell Technologies and Ericsson will work to co-create solutions to drive energy efficiencies and innovation on Cloud RAN infrastructure.

The partnership’s product roadmap also features plans to commercially introduce Ericsson Cloud RAN software on Dell PowerEdge servers, the companies said. “The solution will offer continuous integration testing and lifecycle management to speed deployment and de-risk day-2 operations around updates and upgrades, with Dell as a solution partner,” they said.

They will also co-develop services that “simplify the entire deployment process from factory validation to installation and ongoing operational management, backed by Dell and Ericsson’s joint support for any integrated solution,” the companies said.

Helping to drive the partnership effort forward is feedback from the CSP sector for help on transforming their networks to more modern technologies.

A new study released this week by MeriTalk – and sponsored by Dell Technologies – finds that nine out of ten CSPs surveyed say network transformation is critical to their organization’s survival. But at the same time, a whopping 96 percent of CSPs surveyed said their network transformation vision is lagging due to factors including limited time and budget, along with reliability and security concerns.

“Communications service providers have a crucial window of opportunity to lay the foundation for network cloud transformation and drive business growth,” commented Dennis Hoffman, senior vice president and general manager, Telecom Systems Business, Dell Technologies.

“Our collaboration with Ericsson, combined with our decades of digital transformation expertise, will provide network operators the full plan and technologies they need to accelerate their network and operation transformations to positively impact the trajectory of their businesses,” Hoffman said.

“Working closer with Dell Technologies will help further develop cloud-native programmable networks that bring new ideas and practices to the telecom market,” said Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Business Area Networks, Ericsson.

“Building upon years of collaboration, this strategic partnership will strengthen our cloudification efforts as we gear up to launch Open RAN-based commercial solutions,” he said. “The cloud-native network will enable frequent updates and the rollout of new features using continuous deployment. It will ease the adoption of Cloud RAN technologies and prepare both companies’ portfolios for new markets.”

“To accelerate cloud-based open networks, the telecom industry needs vendors to come together to develop solutions that deliver more growth opportunities with minimal risk,” added Chris Sambar, Head of Network, AT&T. “We look forward to the continued innovation and collaboration as we continue our Open RAN journey.”