Mobile World Congress 2022: 5 Major Telecom, 5G Announcements

Mobile edge, open RAN, 5G and private 5G networking were the big topics that service providers and IT vendors alike had on the brain at MWC 2022.

New Telecom Order

Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022 was back in-person in Barcelona this year, and wireless providers and IT vendors came armed with plenty of telecom-focused offerings that are harnessing some of the most cutting-edge and exciting technologies, such as cloud, edge computing and 5G.

Another big focus on the minds of the vendors in attendance? Open RAN. Radio access networks (RAN) connect telecom base stations to endpoints like smartphones. The concept of open RAN is a call for an industry standard around gear used in RANs. Without open RAN, wireless equipment vendors can make RAN hardware that may not interoperate with other vendors’ gear.

The cons to non- open RAN are vendor lock-in. The pros to open RAN, however, could be less expensive 5G deployments, which could translate into more widespread next-generation connectivity in more places. Another big trend at MWC Barcelona was private 5G. Now that 5G is being deployed around the world as fast as the telecoms can roll out their footprints, 5G has finally become a connectivity reality for businesses large and small.

With so many vendors at Mobile World Congress that have their sights set on taking telecom to the next level, here‘s a sampling of five major 5G and telecom-related announcements that came out of the show.

AT&T, Microsoft Intro Private 5G Edge

Telecom giant AT&T and Microsoft have once again expanded their existing partnership to unveil AT&T Private 5G Edge, an integrated platform for private networking and edge computing aimed at small to mid-size customers.

The platform, which lets businesses get their private edge networks up and running quickly through a self-install capability, grants these organizations the unique ability to roam beyond the geographical boundaries of that private network and still stay connected via AT&T’s U.S. public mobile network, Dallas-based AT&T said.

The two companies are initially targeting manufacturing plants, retail stores and health-care use cases with AT&T Private 5G Edge, which complements Azure Edge Zones with AT&T, the companies said.

Cradlepoint Cellular Intelligence

Wireless edge networking specialist Cradlepoint launched Cradlepoint Cellular Intelligence, a group of software features that will make management of LTE and 5G wireless deployments simpler for businesses, according to the company.

Specifically, the features can help enterprises orchestrate and optimize connections, data plans and the traffic of their cellular networking deployments from a single interface. Cellular Intelligence includes live stats and health dashboards broken out by carrier and network type, cellular signal mapping and SD-WAN. The offering also includes SIM Management, which is based on the integration of Ericsson’s IoT Accelerator with Cradlepoint’s NetCloud. Swedish telecom equipment giant Ericsson acquired Cradlepoint in 2021 for $1.1 billion.

Cellular Intelligence is available now through Cradlepoint’s channel partners, according to the Boise, Idaho-based company.

Dell Telecom Offerings

Dell Technologies took to MWC 2022 to debut several new telecom offerings.

First up is the Dell Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation, a modern network infrastructure offering to help cloud service providers build and deploy open, cloud-first networks faster with less cost and complexity. The Telecom Multi-Cloud Foundation includes Dell hardware, Dell Bare Metal Orchestrator management software and the provider’s choice of integrated telecom cloud software platforms, including Red Hat, VMware and Wind River, according to the company.

The Dell Open RAN Accelerator Card is an open architecture approach to scale high-performing 5G Open RAN. Dell’s RAN accelerator card was developed in collaboration with semiconductor company Marvell and is a new inline 5G Layer 1 processing card for vRAN and open RAN offerings. It was designed for Dell PowerEdge and other x86-based servers.

The company also said it was adding new Dell Bare Metal Orchestrator modules to its software, which will let service providers deploy and manage the entire cloud foundation stack. This will give cloud and service providers a scalable cloud foundation spanning core, edge and RAN for their open hardware and software environment with the flexibility to design and deploy open network functions and differentiated edge services, according to Round Rock, Texas-based Dell.

Red Hat, Baicells To Further ‘Open’ 5G Offerings

Open-source software specialist Red Hat is getting in on the telecom action and is teaming up with LTE small cell manufacturer Baicells to bring high-speed connectivity to users all over the world—especially to areas lacking connectivity.

The two companies at MWC unveiled their participation in the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) in which Red Hat and Baicells will be contributing to the development of open, disaggregated and standards-based 5G offerings. The two companies within the TIP ecosystem are working together to develop open RAN technologies, which will make 5G networks more accessible. Red Hat and Baicells said that together, they can provide proofs of concept for 5G and RAN offerings that will help cut the costs of deploying 5G technologies to improve return on investment for operators installing the networks.

Verizon, Celona Launch Private 5G Offerings For SMBs, Enterprises

Service provider behemoth Verizon and Celona, a startup in the wireless connectivity space, have joined forces to launch a private 5G networking offering.

The collaboration will pair Verizon’s On Site 5G, a non-stand-alone private network, with 5G LAN technology from Celona using CBRS spectrum. The two companies are targeting SMBs and enterprises that are looking to quickly deploy a cloud-first 5G network. It will also help businesses expedite bringing private 5G applications to market, while cutting costs and working around operational challenges, according to Verizon and Celona.

Cupertino, Calif.-based Celona in 2021 revealed a private LTE/5G offering for the enterprise and a channel program. Celona’s private LTE/5G platform gives enterprises a software-based approach to building their own private cellular networks.