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HPE launches 5G test lab

News Analysis
Aug 03, 20203 mins

HPE 5G Lab is designed to help telcos accelerate 5G deployment and adoption.

5G in India
Credit: IDG

Hewlett Packard Enterprise has launched the HPE 5G Lab, a test and development environment where telcos and partners can validate and integrate 5G network solutions. According to HPE, the lab will allow telcos to speed up 5G adoption and access new revenues faster by getting hands-on experience with the latest 5G innovations in a live test environment.

HPE hasn’t pursued the telco market like this in the past, but with Huawei in trouble, HPE clearly sees an opening.

China’s Huawei has been considered a major contender in the 5G telco market and was making considerable headway in part because its products are cheaper than those from Cisco. But multiple nations, including the U.S., U.K., and Australia, have labeled Huawei a security threat and banned it from competing for their 5G developments.

With Huawei under pressure, HPE earlier this year introduced the HPE 5G Core Stack, an open, cloud-native 5G core network software stack, along with the HPE Resource Aggregator for Open Distributed Infrastructure Management and HPE Edge Orchestrator, for telcos to deliver computing services to customers at the edge of telco networks.

5G standards have been designed to enable open, cloud-native platforms rather than the closed, proprietary nature of 4G that limited the market. The open standards and modular software and hardware components mean telcos can mix and match equipment from different vendors, so they can deploy new 5G services faster, more securely and in a more flexible way.

“Governments and telecoms operators around the world are looking to open 5G technologies as an opportunity to move away from a number of vendors which have raised fundamental concerns around security, resilience and market diversification,” said Phil Mottram, vice president and general manager of Communications and Media Solutions at HPE in a statement.

“However, despite multiple successful deployments, doubts still persist about the ability of open 5G technologies to truly replace the old way of building networks. With the launch of the HPE 5G Lab, telcos, solution vendors and national stakeholders can test innovative new solutions with confidence and ensure that they are ready for mass adoption,” Mottram added.

The initial focus of the HPE 5G Lab will be to migrate proprietary 4G core infrastructures to the 5G core. By switching to the open 5G standard, telcos will be able to test and validate multiple network functions from different vendors while relying on HPE for integration with the HPE 5G Core Stack.

In addition to the 5G Core Stack, HPE’s Aruba Networks subsidiary will provide networking equipment to support telco-provisioned services for enterprise and Wi-Fi 6/5G interworking.

The HPE 5G lab is located in one of the company’s newest and most advanced data centers, located in Fort Collins, Colorado, and can be accessed virtually by partners and customers around the globe in addition to working on site.

Andy Patrizio is a freelance journalist based in southern California who has covered the computer industry for 20 years and has built every x86 PC he’s ever owned, laptops not included.

The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of ITworld, Network World, its parent, subsidiary or affiliated companies.