Ericsson and Dell Technologies struck a partnership to develop open RAN-based network cloud transformation strategies by taking an integrated platform approach to serve mobile operators.

The companies stated the partnership includes putting Ericsson Cloud RAN software on Dell PowerEdge servers to create a pre-packaged offering to speed deployments and remove risk from operations. The arrangement builds on an agreement in 2023 to develop cloud RAN infrastructure.

Dell and Ericsson stated they aim to work with operators to “develop simple and reliable open RAN-based network cloud transformation strategies” and will provide marketing and implementation support.

They plan to develop services to simplify the deployment process “from factory validation to installation and ongoing operational management”.

Fredrik Jejdling, EVP and head of business area Networks at Ericsson, noted cloud-native networks will enable frequent updates and the rollout of new features by operators as the vendor prepares to launch commercial open RAN-based products.

Dell was one of the vendors named as an AT&T partner in a $14 billion open RAN deal Ericsson struck with the US operator in December 2023.

Chris Sambar, head of network at AT&T, stated vendors need to come together to develop services that deliver “more growth opportunities with minimal risk” to “accelerate cloud-based open networks”.

The latest partnership could signal a deeper role for Dell in AT&T’s open RAN strategy or deliver a platform other operators can adopt easily.

AvidThink founder and principal Roy Chua told Mobile World Live that such partnerships “should actually be helpful to the open movement because these are different vendors contributing at different levels of the open RAN stack and it supports the philosophy of disaggregated architectures”.

“It’s not a surprise or unusual. We’ve seen these multi-vendor partnerships and blueprints since the early days of NFV, which was about virtualisation, but also about disaggregation,” he noted.