Global telecommunications companies are actively exploring ways to efficiently deliver numerous AI applications to the edge through 5G and the forthcoming 6G networks.
By the year 2025, telecom operators are planning to roll out more than 17 million 5G microcells and towers on a global scale. The construction, management, and optimisation of this novel infrastructure, while upholding the delivery of quality services and enhancing the overall customer experience, pose the next major challenge for the telecommunications industry.
NTT DOCOMO has recently made a significant announcement regarding its network in Japan, where it is implementing a GPU-accelerated wireless solution. This groundbreaking move positions DOCOMO as the world’s very first telecommunications company to introduce a GPU-accelerated commercial 5G network.
The primary objective behind DOCOMO’s initiative is to address the substantial challenge of enhancing performance, reducing the total cost of ownership, and improving energy efficiency. Simultaneously, it aims to unlock the potential of Open RAN, which promises flexibility, scalability, and greater diversity in the supply chain.
The 5G Open RAN solution leverages a high-performance 5G virtual radio access network (vRAN) developed by Fujitsu, which is built upon the NVIDIA Aerial vRAN stack and NVIDIA Converged Accelerators. This powerful combination empowers telecommunications operators to establish a fully software- and cloud-defined network that can dynamically allocate resources using industry-standard equipment.
“Open RAN offers the opportunity to build next-generation 5G networks with unprecedented flexibility and scalability thanks to multivendor connections,” said Sadayuki Abeta, global head of Open RAN solutions at NTT DOCOMO. “We look forward to continuing working with NVIDIA on infrastructure solutions that meet those needs.”
The 5G Open RAN solution is the first 5G vRAN for telco commercial deployment using the NVIDIA Aerial platform, with a hardened, carrier-grade vRAN stack. The platform brings together the NVIDIA Aerial vRAN stack for 5G, AI frameworks, accelerated compute infrastructure and long-term software support and maintenance.
Working with offerings from Fujitsu and Wind River, the new 5G solution uses the NVIDIA Aerial platform to lower costs and reduce power consumption. Compared to its existing 5G network deployments, DOCOMO says the solution reduces total costs by up to 30%, network design utilisation by up to 50%, and power consumption at base stations by up to 50%.
“Delivering a 5G Open RAN network that meets stringent performance requirements of operators is a significant accomplishment,” said Masaki Taniguchi, senior vice president and head of the Mobile System Business Unit at Fujitsu Limited. “Using our Fujitsu vCU/vDU, in combination with NVIDIA Aerial platform, will help network operators to efficiently build high-performance 5G networks for consumers and businesses alike.”
NVIDIA’s contribution to the DOCOMO rollout is part of a growing portfolio of 5G solutions that are driving transformation in the telecommunications industry.