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.


Features:

  • a. Service Management and Orchestration Framework (SMO Framework)
    1. a1. STL Non-real-time RAN intelligent controller (Non-RT RIC)
    2. a2. STL RAN Operations and Management (RAN OAM)
    3. a3. STL RAN Domain Orchestrator (RAN DO)

STL RIC platform comprises of the following components:


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

    The STL SMO (Service Management and Orchestration) framework comprises of

    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 & Management (RAN O&M):
    4. RAN OAM (Operations and Management) is responsible for the management of the elements under its span of control through the STL OAM GUI. Below are the three key features:

      • Vendor agnostic service: Management operations and/or notifications that are agnostic about the entities managed. For example, operations for creating, reading, updating, and deleting managed object instances
      • Network Resource Model: It refers to management information represented by information models representing the managed entities
      • Managed Entity: It refers to management information represented by information models representing the managed entities
    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

    STL's RIC Decoupled Architecture

    STL's RIC has a decoupled architecture, as shown in the figure:




    • SMO is a platform in O-RAN to run applications that automate management functions.
    • RAN O&M refers to Element Management System for customer compatibility with multi-vendor 5G RAN. It enables the seamless adoption and elimination of EMS. Moreover, it supports GUI for the O&M portal and other platform features.
    • Cloud Orchestration means automating tasks that manage cloud workload connections and operations. It combines automation into the workflows of business functions.
    • rApps refers to the applications running on non-real-time RIC, enabling RAN automation for various management processes. They help with network maintenance.
    • xApps are part of near-real-time RIC for integrating third party-apps, AI, and Big-Data. These applications control and optimize all the functions of RAN telecom and its resources.
    • O-Cloud is the platform for cloud orchestration. It includes processors, RAMs, Memories, BIOSes, etc., and optimizes O-RAN.
    • Other SMO Functions include security, configuration, accounting, file management, and software & file management.
    • O-CU, O-DU, and O-RU refer to the Control Unit, Distribution Unit, and Radio Unit.

    STL's RIC Platform Capabilities

    Our RIC platform can perform several functions and has the following capabilities.

    • Brownfield Integration Readiness: You can integrate your existing ones with worldwide systems.
    • Wireline & Wireless Access Convergence for Control & Manageability: The platform can help you utilize your capabilities to offer combined subscriptions.
    • Multi-Vendor Support for Underlay Infrastructure: You can use the vendor of your choice to support the physical infrastructure of your RAN network. They will be compatible with STL's RIC platform.
    • Multi-vendor intra-RIC to overlay RIC Applications: You can also use your preferred vendor to overlay RIC applications.
    • Greenfield Integrations: The RIC Platform enables you to create, integrate, and develop an entirely new environment for your business.
    • Interoperability with Existing Infrastructure: STL's RIC platform ensures compatibility with your existing infrastructure.
    • Automated Deployments: The platform is capable of deploying automated solutions using intelligent applications.
    • Deployable in any Cloud Environment Customizable Intuitive Dashboard: You will get a dashboard you can deploy in any cloud environment. STL has strived to make it customizable and intuitive.

    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 of STL's RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC)

    Our RIC platform can perform several functions and has the following capabilities.

    • Operators control the network
      • Using STL's RIC, operators can control how to optimize your RAN. And they can decide whether to host third-party applications.
    • Quickly enable new services
      • STL's RIC separates the platform and the application. This separation means you can quickly implement new services without worrying about compatibility.
      Read More..
    • Automated RAN Network Control
      • You can use AI/ML models to analyze the data and optimize RAN functions.
    • Improved Performance
      • RIC efficiently manages traffic, improving RAN performance.
    • Low Latency Support
      • You can use many low-latency applications, including mobility, resource management, and performance.
    • Manage Resources Efficiently
      • Using RIC, you can efficiently manage the resources, including spectrum and energy. Read Less..

    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

    FAQ's


    Open RAN is a concept of separating the hardware and software of Radio Access Networks. This process will improve efficiency as it avoids vendor lock-in and improves collaboration. O-RAN stands for Open Radio Access Network; it can also refer to the O-RAN alliance that specifies the configuration for the Open RAN architecture. This architecture separates the Baseband Unit of a conventional RAN into three: CU, DU, and RU. CU stands for Control Unit; RU is the Radio Unit; DU means Distribution Unit. This separation enables models such as centralized packet processing, and centralization reduces costs.

    a. RAN Intelligent Controller is a platform that controls the function of a RAN using AI/ML models. Its components include:

    1. Service Management and Orchestration Framework: SMO manages domains in Open RAN.
      1. Non-Real Time RIC: Controlling elements and resources and optimizing them
      2. RAN Operations and Management: OAM GUI for managing the RAN elements
      3. RAN Domain Orchestrator: It manages:
        1. Infrastructure
        2. Image Inventory
        3. Site Registration Function
        4. Platform Installation, location, and Topology
    2. Near-Real-Time RIC: A logical function to manage O-RAN functions in near-real time using precise data collection and action.

    a. The ORAN architecture consists of six primary components:

    1. SMO, or Service Management and Orchestration Framework, allows interoperability and communications among O-RAN components, including RIC, O-Cloud, etc.
    2. RIC or RAN Intelligent Controller controls and optimizes RAN elements using automated applications.
    3. O-Cloud is a cloud computing platform capable of implementing virtual network functions.
    4. O-CU, or O-RAN Central Unit, supports high-level functions like SDAP, PDCP, and RRC.
    5. O-DU, or O-RAN Distribution Unit, communicates with the low-level layers, including RLC, MAC, and Physical Layer.
    6. O-RU, or O-RAN Distribution Unit, is responsible for converting data to radio signals.

    a. O-RAN improves the efficiency of 5G. O-RAN refers to the Open RAN alliance that desires an open architecture for Radio Access Control Networks. This practice will enhance collaboration and reduce costs. Moreover, it eliminates vendor lock-in by separating software and hardware. These benefits are necessary for a complete 5G infrastructure. In addition, O-RAN 5G can implement the 5G concepts of virtualization, reduced latency, and low infrastructure cost.

    a. STL's RIC can enable operators to control the optimization of RAN and the use of third-party applications. It separates the O-RAN platform and the application, allowing quick implementation of services. The AI/ML models in the RIC will help you optimize the RAN function, manage traffic, and improve performance. In addition, you can use low-latency applications with this platform, including resource and mobility management. And you can manage the O-RAN resources efficiently.

    Learning Resources

    Key insights into future-ready data centre designs

    Learning Resources
    Brochure

    RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC)

    Read More
    Learning Resources
    Whitepaper

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

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    Learning Resources
    Whitepaper

    Key Enabler for MNOs TCO Reduction

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    Learning Resources
    Whitepaper

    The Role of the RAN Intelligent Controller in Open RAN Systems

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    Infographic
    Whitepaper

    Enabling AI/ML in a RIC framework for Proactive Intelligent Management

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