DISH tests VMware’s intelligent RAN (RIC) controller

While most service providers strive to insert 5G technology into legacy architectures, the 5G world has always been for DISH Network. It is building a 5G network from scratch and selected VMware to lay the foundation for the complex Radio Access Network (RAN). Its RAN workloads will run on VMware Telco Cloud Platform RAN and DISH will test VMware’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) as the platform on which RAN applications will run.

VMware RIC is a multi-RAN, multi-cloud platform that abstracts the underlying RAN infrastructure and can host both near real-time applications (xApps) and non-real-time applications (rApps). These applications enable new functionalities – automation, optimization and personalization of services – which fuel innovation on a telecommunications network.

Through this trial, DISH will evaluate VMware RIC on its ability to:

– Build custom solutions from a vibrant ecosystem of RIC innovators: In the coming years, DISH expects a rich ecosystem of xApps and rApps to take shape, almost like an App Store for RAN . With an RIC platform, DISH will be able to combine RAN software from multiple vendors and assemble powerful new solutions for their networks and customers.

– Use RAN programmability and intelligence to automate its network of networks: With the ability to access RAN data and program RAN components, RIC applications will help DISH enable progressively smarter automation. For example, an rApp could run machine learning analysis on RAN traffic and performance over time, then send that information back to upstream controllers, or even an xApp in the same node, to run optimizations.

– Improve security: DISH will be able to apply the same consistent security policies across the entire end-to-end network, including in the RAN. But the RIC adds even more options. RIC allows RAN components to function more like endpoints, and could even run endpoint-type security software to monitor and protect RAN traffic at the point where it enters the network.

Marc Rouanne, EVP and Chief Network Officer at DISH Wireless
DISH’s network of networks will leverage network slicing, Open RAN (O-RAN) and other 5G innovations to deliver personalized network services. It’s not a one-time experience. It can be customizable, based on speed, latency, data requirements – all set by the customer. We are redefining the relationship between service provider and business, and VMware has been a strategic partner in helping us achieve this vision.

Sanjay Uppal, SVP and GM of VMware’s Service Provider and Edge Business Unit
DISH is building a one-of-a-kind network that will drive the entire industry forward. We’re excited to be part of the journey as we continue to work with DISH and its ecosystem partners to launch the first Open RAN-based 5G network in the United States.

Margie D. Carlisle