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AirHop Launches the Industry’s First Comprehensive Portfolio of Field-proven xApps and rApps to Accelerate 4G and 5G Open RAN Deployments

AirHop is collaborating with a broad ecosystem of Near RT RIC and Non RT RIC platform partners, RAN vendors, the Telecom Infra Project and the O-RAN Alliance

AirHop Communications, a leader in 4G and 5G real-time (RT) Radio Access Network (RAN) Intelligence software solutions, announced they are delivering their Auptim family of 4G/5G xApp and rApp RAN automation and optimization solutions. Auptim is a portfolio of field-proven xApp and rApp software applications compliant with the O-RAN Alliance reference architecture and are deployed on 3rd party RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) platforms. Airhop will demonstrate Auptim xApps and rApps with several ecosystem partners including VMware, Juniper Networks and the Open Networking Foundation at the upcoming Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

“Enabling vendors such as AirHop to participate in an ecosystem where MNO needs are defined and prioritized and vendor solutions are tested and validated is a foundational goal of the TIP OpenRAN RIA subgroup”

“We have delivered commercially hardened near RT automation and optimization use cases with our cloud-native eSON software platform and AI/ML use cases with eSON360 at Reliance Jio and Rakuten Mobile. This experience has enabled us to rapidly develop important use cases as xApps and rApps supporting the O-RAN architecture,” said Yan Hui, AirHop Co-Founder and CEO. “The Open RAN ecosystem is working to enable accelerated delivery of best-in-class disaggregated components. This has been our experience through the integration of Auptim xApps and rApps with RIC platforms from leading RIC vendors and deployments in trials with leading MNOs.”

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“AirHop’s near real-time RAN automation and optimization applications have provided a key component in Rakuten’s journey to drive operations automation and consistent performance across its network,” stated Madhukiran Medithe, Head of Network Intelligence & Analytics Department at Rakuten Mobile Inc. “As Rakuten leads the way in making O-RAN RIC (RAN Intelligent Control) a practical reality, we are excited to be working with AirHop and see them bring their capabilities to Rakuten’s O-RAN architecture with the Auptim family of xApps and rApps.”

With the growing complexity of 4G & 5G networks and the disaggregation of the RAN stack with Open RAN, the enablement of intelligent automation and optimization solutions has become mandatory for both greenfield and brownfield Mobile Network Operators (MNOs). The industry has recognized the need for both near RT RAN management and AI/ML approaches for intelligent RAN optimization. The O-RAN Alliance is driving a standard architecture and open interfaces to lead this enablement with the Near RT RIC and Non-RT RIC platforms. The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenRAN RAN Intelligence and Automation (RIA) subgroup is enabling an ecosystem of MNOs and vendors to develop of AI/ML based use cases. Auptim near RT xApps and AI/ML based non RT rApps are critical pieces of the puzzle for MNOs to leverage these platforms to realize lower operating costs, improved user experience and provide greater flexibility for service delivery.

“One key objective for Open RAN is the establishment of a rich ecosystem of disaggregated components to drive faster innovation across the layers of the RAN,” noted Stéphane Téral, Chief Analyst of Lightcounting Market Research. “The O-RAN RIC platforms in conjunction with xApps and rApps provide promise for greater innovation in performance optimization, improved spectral efficiency, enhanced user experience and lower operation costs. It is intriguing to see AirHop leverage its experience delivering near RT automation and optimization solutions for the Rakuten Mobile Open RAN deployment into xApps and rApps for deployment on RIC platforms across the ecosystem.”

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Auptim consists of a portfolio of automation and optimization software applications, including solutions available now in addition to a roadmap of solutions available later this year. The Auptim portfolio provides use cases spanning RAN configuration optimization, RAN mobility optimization, RAN coverage and capacity optimization, automated energy savings and RAN operations automation. The following xApps and rApps are available today for RIC integrations and commercial deployments:

  • Physical Cell Identity (PCI) Optimization for automated detection and resolution of PCI conflict and confusion, available as an xApp or rApp
  • Random Access CHannel (RACH) Optimization for RACH parameter optimization, available as an xApp or rApp
  • Mobility Robustness Optimization (MRO) to optimize handover performance, available as an rApp
  • Mobility Load Balancing (MLB) for dynamic balancing of user load among neighbor cells, available as an xApp or rApp
  • Multi-Cell Interference Management (MCIM) to dynamically detect and manage interference – increasing spectral efficiency, available as an xApp
  • Anomaly Detector (AD) for implementation of machine learning based Cell Outage Detection and Smart Diagnostics of network operational anomalies, available as an rApp

Auptim provides MNOs with a leading portfolio of xApps and rApp for use on 3rd party RIC platforms. AirHop is collaborating with a broad ecosystem of Near RT RIC and Non RT RIC platforms, RAN vendors as well as TIP and O-RAN Alliance to accelerate the availability of O-RAN compliant commercial class near RT and non RT RAN automation and optimization solutions. Some Auptim xApps have also been deployed as part of the disaggregated multi-vendor Open RAN field trial conducted by Deutsche Telekom.

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“Enabling vendors such as AirHop to participate in an ecosystem where MNO needs are defined and prioritized and vendor solutions are tested and validated is a foundational goal of the TIP OpenRAN RIA subgroup”, stated David Hutton, Chief Engineer at Telecom Infra Project. “We welcome AirHop’s participation, through TIP RIA to align their Auptim family of use cases with RIC platform and OpenRAN network element vendors to ensure the success of OpenRAN.”

“Our collaboration with AirHop is an excellent example of the Open RAN ecosystem, enabling innovation across the RAN stack to deliver disruptive solutions for MNOs without impacting their current business operations. We share a common objective in delivering new levels of programmability and automation for the RAN through VMware’s Centralized RIC and Distributed RIC platforms in conjunction with AirHop Auptim xApps and rApps” said Lakshmi Mandyam, VP Product Management and Partner Ecosystems, Service Provider and Edge BU at VMware. “We are excited to be showcasing some fruits of our collaboration at MWC Barcelona this month with a demonstration of the Auptim PCI rApp integrated with our Centralized RIC platform.”

AirHop and Juniper Networks will demonstrate a Random Access CHannel (RACH) parameter optimization use case using the Juniper Near RT RIC and the AirHop RACH optimization xApp at MWC Barcelona. The demonstration highlights the RACH xApp being deployed on the Juniper O-RAN based Near RT RIC and automatically detecting and resolving RACH parameter conflicts in various RAN scenarios.

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[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]

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