Intel and VMware partnered to develop an integrated platform aimed at simplifying deployments of virtualised infrastructure and services.

The companies plan to combine Intel’s FlexRAN software reference architecture with VMware’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) to deliver programmable open interfaces vendors and operators can use to develop new radio functions incorporating technologies including AI, machine learning, traffic steering and dynamic slicing.

VMware EVP and GM of telco and edge cloud Shekar Ayyar said adding vRAN capabilities to virtualised core networks offered “tremendous benefits” in terms of “delivering all network functions on a single platform”.

A company representative told Mobile World Live a unified platform for core and RAN allows operators to build a consistent infrastructure and use the same operational chains to deploy and manage their 5G networks.

The representative cited capex and opex benefits, along with greater agility as key selling points.

Intel and VMware are both members of an open RAN lobby group formed earlier this year.

The companies said several big names are already on board with their vRAN collaboration including Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone Group and Dell Technologies.