Hello and welcome to the Intel Telco Cloud Academy. This is the Virtualized Radio Access Network or vRAN Technologies course. This course will provide an overview of the powerful wireless technologies that enable virtualized radio access networks. First, we will clarify terms like traditional RAN, vRAN, and ORAN, and then talk about the industry shift from traditional purpose-built proprietary RAN to open and Cloud native RAN. Then we will look at Intel's end-to-end vRAN portfolio and how Intel hardware and software are enabling and broadening the vRAN ecosystem to produce a variety of flexible commercial vRAN implementations. The purpose of this course is to give an overview to product donors, system architects, and developers of the virtualized radio access network and the technologies which power vRAN. The learner should also be able to explain the industry shift from traditional RAN to Cloud-native vRAN. Additionally, you should be able to articulate the benefits of Cloud-native vRAN over traditional RAN. The final section will allow the viewer to explain how Intel is enabling flexible commercial vRAN implementations using dis-aggregated hardware and software, giving more choices combining best-of-breed ingredients such as commercial off-the-shelf or COTS servers or RAN compliant radios, and L1, L2, L3 software stack solutions. Let's begin by going over some terms related to radio access networks and looking at the industry shift towards Cloud native virtualized RAN. Traditional radio access networks, or traditional RAN, were deployed using purpose-built single vendor end-to-end systems. Telco selected deployments based on a small list of vendors, and each vendor deployed proprietary end-to-end equipment that did not support interoperability between each other's products. Typically, the radio, front hall gateway, and baseband unit or BBU were all manufactured by the same vendor, and network functionality was defined by the hardware installed. Virtualized RAN or vRAN refers to a radio access network running on a virtualized COTS server, which can be shared across multiple applications with COTS allocated between different software stacks often run as containers. vRAN has greatly increased the flexibility of radio access networks, allowing for scaling CPU cores based on deployment density needs and ability to add new innovative functionality based on the software running on the server. It is important to remember, however, that vRAN systems are not always over-incompliant and may still incorporate proprietary hardware and interfaces. Open RAN or O-RAN, is an architecture based on standards defined by the O-RAN Alliance. The point of the O-RAN Alliance is to define standards for the Telco industry, which will facilitate interoperability between products from different hardware and software vendors, such as Virtual Base Band Units or VBBUs and O-RAN-compliant radio vendors. O-RAN specification enable the ecosystem which Intel is contributing to, with its vRAN portfolio. Intel's Cloud-native vRAN leverages Intel hardware and software for Cloud-native benefits. Cloud-native vRAN enjoys powerful scalability and elasticity over traditional RAN solutions, and full compliance with O-RAN Alliance standards guarantees interoperability and integration with robust ecosystem of hardware and software vendors already designing for O-RAN. Cloud-native vRAN allows simple integration of powerful tools like artificial intelligence and machine learning for deploying innovative RAN intelligent controllers or RICS, as an example, with benefits such as improved analytics and network observability. This accelerates innovation and allows for spinning up and down containers to deploy new services. What forces in the industry cause this shift from traditional RAN to open cloud-native vRAN? The industry shift from traditional single vendor proprietary RAN systems to virtualized open RAN has been facilitated by a number of factors. First, the rise of data-center and public Cloud hyper scalers began to offer the ability to share servers, giving the flexibility to scale compute resources based on performance demands. In addition, the performance capabilities of CPUs from generation to generation continued to get more powerful and able to handle the data traffic that has exploded over the last decade. This gave rise to the Telco Cloud leveraging data center advancements to virtualize packet processing for the core and edge of networks. Finally, this led to a rise in virtualized RAN, running software on commercial off-the-shelf or COT servers that can handle all the functionality of a proprietary baseband unit or BBU, plus additional functionality defined by the software stack running on the server. This allows for new ecosystem vendors and provide scalability, flexibility, and more innovative functionality than the traditional model. In a virtualized RAN in order to further innovation and promote collaboration and interoperability in the vRAN market, standards had to be defined and adopted industry-wide. This is where the ORAN Alliance Standards have come into play, accelerating the transition to the intelligent distributed networks we see today. Intel's Cloud-native vRAN portfolio seeks to build upon this foundation set by the O-RAN Alliance, leveraging powerful Intel hardware and software components to power Cloud-native networks and meet the growing networking challenges posed by 5G expansion. Cloud-native vRAN is flexible and scalable enough to efficiently power updated 4G networks as well as the current and future networks of 5G and beyond. A result of this industry shift to open RAN is the disaggregation of hardware and software in the RAN. As we've discussed, traditional RAN was a proprietary system where the components and functionality of the RAN were typically determined entirely by a single vendor who supplied the BBU and the radios. In a virtualized RAN that is O-RAN compliant, the radio, server, and software can come from different vendors to combine best-of-breed ingredients from a broadening ecosystem. Instead of fixed function baseband units, we have one or more server nodes running Virtual Distributed Unit or VDU into a Virtual Centralized Unit or VCU software that can now scale best on density need. The number of CPU cores can be scaled as needed and can expand to multiple server blades as well. The server can also run additional software functionality such as a virtualized cell site router or CSR, amongst other possibilities. With an open virtualized RAN, the radio as well as the components of the server and the software that runs on it can all come from different vendors. O-RAN standards ensure interoperability between all these vendors. Watch the next video to learn about Intel's own portfolio of O-RAN-compliant Cloud-native vRAN offerings, which are enabling flexible scalable vRAN implementations across the network.