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Orange claims success in cloud-native private 5G network

Orange has successfully tried out its experimental end-to-end cloud-native network.

The company said this morning that the network, named Pikeo, will show the way to resilient, green, software and data-based networks.

Laurent Leboucher (pictured), Orange group CTO, said: “The experience gained from the Pikeo project and the expertise of Orange Innovation teams will be leveraged in the new mobile private network cloud experimental offer launched by Orange Business.”

Orange first reported work on Pikeo two years ago, when the company applied to the French regulator, Arcep, for permission to run the trial network in Lannion, the town in Brittany, north-western France, where the company has its research centre.

Last week Orange said it was working with other carriers and Amazon Web Services (AWS) to develop private 5G services.

This morning the company took this further, saying its Pikeo experiment had run over two locations in France to date and is currently used by internal employees. The trial will be extended soon to a third site in Spain for internal use, said Orange.

The Pikeo 5G standalone (SA) network is multi-cloud and is deployed either on an on-premises Orange telco cloud infrastructure, operated by Orange, or on AWS or using a hybrid architecture with AWS. In that case the core network is deployed in an AWS region.

The second option allows enterprise customers to benefit from low latency or security and local requirements, said Orange.

Leboucher added: “As Orange seeks to fulfil its ambition to become the telecom reference for resilient, green, software and data-based networks, the results of this trial to date mark a major milestone in achieving this.”

The company said the experiment also developed Orange’s knowhow in integrating technologies from various partners such as Dell Technologies, AWS, Casa Systems and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, as well as Amdocs, Arista, Mavenir and Xiaomi.

“This experience has allowed Orange to demonstrate the growing maturity of open RAN technologies, paving the way for field deployments in the coming years,” said Orange. “As an example, the launch of the first field trial in a rural area in Romania last week demonstrates Orange’s confidence that open RAN is now ready for initial deployments on operational networks.” Capacity Media

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