STL RIC platform is an O-RAN compliant cloud native architecture and sits at the heart of open and virtualized RAN network. It helps in creating an open ecosystem for developing, deploying, and operating third party applications (xApps for Near-RT RIC and rApps for Non-RT RIC) that would enable TCO optimization and enable revenue generation.


As the Radio Access Network (RAN) industry continues to evolve towards an open, virtualized and disaggregated environment. One of the central components of open RAN, RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) continues to gain momentum. RIC offers an opportunity to Telcos enabling them to drive RAN efficiency and enable new use cases through greater network efficiency, resource assurance and control. All these benefits will enable Telcos to save cost, improve QoS, and generate new revenue streams.


STL RIC Platform

STL RIC platform is an O-RAN compliant cloud-native architecture that sits at the heart of an open and virtualized RAN network. It helps create an open ecosystem for developing, deploying, and operating third-party applications (xApps for Near-RT RIC and rApps for Non-RT RIC) that would enable TCO optimization and and newer sources of revenue generation.

This platform helps the service providers in the following ways:

  • a) Optimizing TCO (total cost of ownership) in terms of both CAPEX and OPEX
  • b) Automating the entire life cycle management The SMO framework is responsible for RAN domain management in the Open RAN architecture, excluding core and transport. This framework includes the following functions:
  • c) Supporting open platforms to implement best-of-breed solutions
  • d) Enabling quick rollout powered by AI/ML for effective and efficient network management

STL RIC platform comprises of the following components:


  1. Service Management and Orchestration Framework (SMO Framework):

    The SMO framework is responsible for RAN domain management in the Open RAN architecture, excluding core and transport. This framework includes the following functions:

    1. a1. Non-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (Non-RT RIC):
    2. A logical function that enables non-real time control and optimization of RAN elements and resources. This provides policy-based guidance, machine learning (ML) model management, and information enrichment to the near-RT RIC via the A1 interface. This platform is built using open APIs to support north bound interfaces and hence vendor agnostic.

    3. a2. RAN Operations and Management (RAN OAM):
    4. RAN OAM is responsible for managing the managed elements under its span of control through the OAM GUI. This supports the following three types of management services (MnS) that are readily available:

      • MnS component type A is a group of management operations and/or notifications agnostic with regards to the entities managed. For example, operations for creating, reading, updating, and deleting managed object instances.
      • MnS component type B, also called Network Resource Model (NRM), refers to management information represented by information models representing the managed entities.
      • MnS component type C is performance information of the managed entity and fault information of the managed enti
    5. a3. RAN Domain Orchestrator (RAN DO):
    6. STL RAN Domain Orchestrator (RAN DO) will support infrastructure management, Site Registration Function, Image Inventory Management, Platform Installation, Location, and Topology Management. It supports the following three functions:

      • RAN NSSMF (Network Slice Subnet Management Function)
      • NF Orchestration
      • Cloud infrastructure management and operation
  2. Near-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (Near-RT RIC):
  3. Near-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (Near-RT RIC) is an O-RAN compliant logical function that enables near-real-time control and optimization of RAN elements and resources via fine-grained (e.g., UE basis, Cell basis) data collection and actions over E2 interface.

  • Network control back to operators: RIC with its standardized open interfaces gives the control of RAN optimization back to operators and enables them to host third party xApps
  • Improves RAN performance: RIC effectively balances the RAN load and hence alleviates network congestion
  • Quick enablement of new services: Separation between STL Near-RT RIC platform and xApps helps in quick enablement of new service
  • Supports low latency applications: Fine time granular control loops across L3 to L1 helps in various dynamic situations like mobility, scheduling, and load balancing
  • AI/ML Driven Network Control: Enables data driven optimization by supporting operator's RAN data to deploy AI/ML models
  • Pre-O-RAN Support: STL Near-RT RIC can be deployed in both brown and/or green Fields

RIC Decoupled Architecture




  • SMO is decomposed into interoperable SMO Functions (SMOF) which produce interoperable SMO Services (SMOS)
  • SMOS (inter-SMOF) Interfaces in the Decoupled Architecture capture the same functionality as Internal Interfaces in the Integrated Architecture

RIC Platform Capabilities

  • Brownfield Integration Readiness
  • Wireline & Wireless Access Convergence for Control & Manageability
  • Multi-vendor support for underlay Infrastructure
  • Multi-vendor intra-RIC to overlay RIC Applications
  • Greenfield Integrations
  • Interoperability with Existing Infrastructure
  • Automated Deployments
  • Deployable in any Cloud Environment
  • Customizable Intuitive Dashboard

Use Cases


Data Centre Solutions

Hybrid Automatic Neighbour Relations Enhancements (ANR-E)*


Leveraging on QoS / KPI measurements STL RIC (rApp) can improve the neighbour relations providing easy integration of disparate solutions from multiple vendors.

Data Centre Solutions

PCI
(Physical Cell Id) optimization*


STL RIC (rApp)Automatically detects and resolve PCI collisions and confusions without manual intervention by creating optimal PCI code allocations.

Data Centre Solutions

Mobility Load
Balancing (MLB)*


Using the metrics such as RSRP/CQI/Cell-load STL RIC (xApp) builds an ML Model, and if a cell is overloaded then the UE's target cells are identified, and load balancing is achieved.

Data Centre Solutions

Other High Value Use cases through 3rd Party Vendors/ Partners


RAN energy savings. Atmospheric ducting interference mitigation. Alarm root cause analysis, alarm correlation, and ticket suppression. Elimination of drive tests.

Data Centre Solutions

Atmospheric Ducting


Detection of ducting-based interference is complex and often remain enigmatic to MNOs

Data Centre Solutions

KPI monitoring and alerting via AI/ML


Proactive approach to network quality maintenance, substantial TCO reduction by eliminating manual labour

Benefits


Real-time Policy Design

Modular

Modular, any changes with respect to bug fixes or software upgrades can be done

Real-time Policy Design

Flexible

Decoupling gives more flexibility, telecom operator has the option of deploying Non - RT RIC alone

Real-time Policy Design

Vendor Agnostic

Operators can now choose the applications that adds value and addresses their use cases

Real-time Policy Design

Total Cost of Ownership

STL RIC can optimise both Opex and Capex and help reduce the overall cost


Videos



"Near-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller "
Mobility Load Balancing

"Non-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller"
Avoids PCI Collision and Confusion



For more details, write to ravi.prakash@stl.tech

Learning Resources

Key insights into future-ready data centre designs

Brochure

RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC)

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Whitepaper

Radio Access Network Performance Management for 4G/5G Networks (Traditional and O-RAN)

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Whitepaper

Key Enabler for MNOs TCO Reduction

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Whitepaper

The Role of the RAN Intelligent Controller in Open RAN Systems

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