Anuta Networks Automates the First Cloud-Native, Open-RAN Enabled 5G Mobile Network in North America

March 3, 2022 0 By Hoofer

Anuta Networks announced that a new North American mobile network operator has selected its closed-loop automation platform (ATOM) to accelerate the first 5G Standalone (SA) deployment built from the ground up with Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) as a Service. The scale is expansive, covering 50,000 sites nationwide, spanning 100s of thousands of network devices and servers. The ATOM solution eliminates configuration and integration touchpoints, develops customizable workflows that reduce manual errors, and increases productivity for the carrier’s network engineers.

Globally, the 3GPP 5G-New Radio (NR) standard is being widely adopted given its significant performance improvement over LTE (up to 20x faster), low latency (< 5ms), and vastly improved security and device scale support. As a result, operators and service providers will be able to launch many disruptive services supporting emerging technologies such as IoT, VR, and AR. The O-RAN Alliance has also emerged as a driving force in facilitating the implementation of open interfaces and APIs, flexible domestic vendor choice, and interoperability.

The disaggregation inherent in the O-RAN architecture allows service providers to choose best-of-breed vendors for each of the RU, gNodeb (DU/CU), Near-RT, and Non-RT RIC/SMO components while leveraging virtualization on Commercial-off-the-shelf servers (COTS). This approach accelerates innovation and can lower infrastructure capital expense, but it introduces operational challenges, especially when manual processes are followed.

For example, a cell-site activation typically requires 50+ manual steps, spanning applications across a dozen or more vendors that provide the necessary hardware, software, and services. In the best-case scenario, when all processes are streamlined, manual activation can consume 26 hours per site, mandating network automation.

Any viable network automation platform must support cell site onboarding, including transport configuration and provisioning of multi-vendor network solutions. There are many procedures including bare metal server provisioning, workload provisioning, inventory update, and lifecycle management of CNFs (O-RU, O-DU, O-CU, IMS, AMF, SMF, etc.) hosted on AWS local zones and regions. In addition, automation needs to support multi-tenancy, reporting, and analytics at a massive scale.

Anuta Networks ATOM delivers network and server automation, network slice provisioning for eMBB, uRLLC, and mMTC applications, collects telemetry and delivers assurance and closed-loop remediation through a single platform. The cloud-native solution supports an astounding 45+ vendors and 150+ platforms, including physical, virtual, and cloud-native network functions.

The key features of the Anuta Networks ATOM solution include:

– Standards-based (BPMN 2.0) low-code workflows
– Pre-built integrations with ITSM, IPAM, CI/CD
– Out of the box libraries and reusable workflows
– Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) for cell-site routers
– Bare metal server lifecycle management (BLM) via Redfish APIs
– Extensible and customizable reporting
– 24/7 compliance enforcement to minimize configuration drift
– AI/ML-powered predictive analytics for estimating workflow completion
– A highly scalable cloud-native architecture that supports 100,000+ devices

“We were looking for a holistic, complete network automation solution which could help us accelerate productivity and increase the scale of operations while also being affordable and are happy to collaborate with Anuta. Anuta Networks ATOM’s cloud-native, AWS-ready network automation solution, which runs on the Amazon EKS platform, helps us streamline onboarding operations while integrating systems from 13 vendors. The single pane of visibility and control delivered by ATOM for thousands of complex network and server elements across all our sites helps us ensure high uptime and performance for our 5G customers. With Anuta, we look forward to scaling across hundreds of new markets in quick succession by the end of 2022”, said the Executive Vice President of Wireless Operations for the new Mobile Network Operator.

Furthermore, ATOM facilitates cell-site onboarding within 2 hours on average, saving at least 24 hours of effort per site. As a result, this carrier stands to gain immense savings in time to market and cost, especially given the 50,000-site future scale-out plan. ATOM’s ability to generate granular reports and tightly integrated workflows will also enable this operator to meet and exceed SLA commitments for its enterprise customers and reduce subscriber churn for its consumer subscribers.

“At Anuta, we support our clients’ network automation projects through a fine blend of technology, robust experience, and operational excellence. Supported by 30+ operators and 300+ suppliers, O-RAN is paving the way for global deployments of 5G networks with innovation and agility. The powerful combination of 5G and O-RAN is expected to witness a growth of 52% between 2022 and 2030, and we are happy to be at the cusp of this revolutionary change”, said Chandu Guntakala, Founder and CEO of Anuta Networks. “We are delighted to play a crucial role in ensuring the integration of components from the best-of-breed vendors. With Anuta Networks ATOM, customers get a single source of truth and a single-pane-of-glass view of their network and server infrastructure to ensure faster deployment, greater visibility, enhanced security, and optimum performance.”