Dell targets market for 5G networks built on open source hardware



Dell Technologies chief Michael Dell said on Wednesday he sees an opportunity to play a key role in the global rollout of 5G networks with new technology that makes specialized equipment unnecessary.

The move to the Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) allows telecommunications operators to use software to perform network functions on standardized computer hardware.

The technology piqued the interest of the US government because it would allow networking with offerings from US companies such as Dell, Microsoft Corp and others, rather than industry-specific vendors such as Nokia or the company. Chinese Huawei Technologies Co.

In an interview, Dell said the interest of the administration of former President Donald Trump in positioning the technology as a West-led counterweight to Huawei had “completely shifted” to the administration. by President Joe Biden.

“It’s a completely bipartisan thing,” Dell said.

Dell manufactures the computer hardware that goes into the new style of networking and has already made deals to help DISH Network Corp in the US and Vodafone and Orange in Europe build 5G networks with this technology. Dell Technologies on Wednesday announced software to help operators manage computers used in new networks, targeting release in November.

But most of the new O-RAN networks in Europe remain test beds, and DISH is a 5G newcomer building a network from scratch rather than an established player. Some telecommunications analysts believe that the new open technology will not be dominant for at least another generation of networks.

Dell wants to accelerate change by testing and scaling up much of the new technology for wider use.

“Many circles are looking for an appetite for a Western champion who brings it all together on a grand scale,” Dell said, noting that his company has also had talks with the governments of the UK, Canada, New Zealand and from Australia as well as Japan and Western Europe.

“It has to be a big company that has the supply chain, the services and the financial clout to make it all happen and deliver it,” he said.



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