Research Note

November 2023 With its Dynamic Service Model, Microsoft’s programmable RAN platform greatly augments O-RAN analytics

November 2023

Abstract

Although the programmability of the novel open RAN (O-RAN) architecture provides great flexibility and agility, which a few years ago seemed impossible to achieve due to the inherent complexity of the radio frequency (RF), its predefined telemetry and control features remain the last of the bottlenecks to tackle.

The essence of open RAN lies in virtualization of RAN functions, open interfaces between decomposed RAN elements and full access to telemetric data to foster much needed innovation by the developers. But the fact is, in the existing 800 LTE networks, including 265 of them upgraded to 5G, running live traffic in the world, detailed telemetry is widespread across network nodes and components, except in the RAN! The rise of open RAN is changing the game.

In cooperation with Capgemini and Intel, Microsoft developed a programmable RAN platform framework that embeds virtualized RAN, analytics, and automation. Illustrated in Figure 1, Microsoft’s proposed architecture enables the introduction of flexible, dynamically loadable service models and allows developers to upload their own or 3rd party custom code that safely and directly implements a service model onto a live RAN platform.

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Produced in association with Microsoft Azure for Operators