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Türk Telekom and Argela Announce World’s First Dynamically Programmable RAN Slicing Demonstration in a Commercial Network

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Argela and Türk Telekom announce that they have successfully realized world’s first RAN slicing demonstration in a commercial LTE-A network. This will enable Türk Telekom to develop innovative business applications for 5G technologies.

Türk Telekom, Turkey’s leading communication and entertainment technologies provider, and Argela, a leading provider of telecommunications solutions for mobile and fixed operators as well as government and public safety, jointly announced today that ProgRAN, Argela’s innovative, fully programmable radio access network (RAN) architecture allowing for dynamic RAN slicing has been successfully incorporated into Türk Telekom’s commercial LTE-A network. The limited deployment covers an enterprise area in Istanbul’s commercial center, Maslak. There are plans on extending the demonstration to a second location in Turkey’s capital, Ankara in the near future.

Argela Logo
Argela Logo

“The cellular networks of today increasingly need to provide support for a wide range of use cases, potentially each with very different quality of service requirements,” said Fırat Yaman Er, Chief Strategy and Business Planning Officer at Türk Telekom. “For economies of scale, it is imperative to develop a single, highly programmable network that can meet the diverse requirements of all these applications, and ensure that the network remains profitable for the operator. 5G aims to use network slices for this purpose. At Türk Telekom, we are excited to have realized the world’s first commercial deployment of RAN slicing. This will allow us to experiment with a fundamental 5G technology and innovate business solutions around it.”

“5G needs to be built in a flexible way so that capacity and coverage are allocated in virtual RAN slices to dynamically meet the demands of each potential use case,” said Bülent Kaytaz, Argela CEO. “A RAN architecture built on the pillars of software-defined networking and network virtualization is necessary to effectively use the limited wireless resources amongst increasingly diverse use cases. At Argela we have developed ProgRAN with 5G in mind, but also made sure that it is operational on today’s LTE networks so operators do not have to wait until 2020 to start using the network slicing technology. We are thrilled to see it in action on Türk Telekom’s commercial LTE-A network.

“ProgRAN’s dynamic RAN slicing capability carries the potential to link network services to new commercial opportunities for operators,” Kaytaz added. “ProgRAN allows RAN to programmatically adapt itself to different service requirements and customer experience needs. This means that an operator will be able to offer network functions to many different industries, such as IoT, healthcare or automotive, using a RAN-As-A-Service business model.”

Argela’s ProgRAN provides a dynamically programmable RAN architecture. Its SDN-based programmability feature allows creation, modification, or termination of RAN slices in real-time, where each slice utilizes its own RAN control functions and governs its own wireless resources, allowing operators to quickly innovate new revenue generating services using the platform. Such potential services include massive IoT connectivity, mission-critical services, multimedia applications, MVNOs, Public Safety Networks, time and geography-limited resource reservations for public or private events, as well as dynamic RAN sharing.

“For each use case, ProgRAN dynamically creates a new RAN slice using a so-called profile definition,” explained Dr. M. Oğuz Sunay, CTO at Argela-USA. “The ProgRAN profile specifies the size of the RAN slice, the identities of the eNodeBs and devices that are affected, the time duration for the slice as well as the desired RAN control functionalities to achieve the desired service quality. A ProgRAN-enabled network can have multiple such active profiles on the same or different parts of the network at a given time.”

“ProgRAN does not need a complete re-haul of an operator's existing infrastructure. An operator may deploy ProgRAN capable base stations, or small cells, only in the geography where they feel such dynamic programmability is profitable. In such a deployment, ProgRAN seamlessly works with the rest of the network. This is demonstrated in Turk Telekom's initial deployment of ProgRAN,” Dr. Sunay added.

A C-RAN implementation of ProgRAN is also available. Türk Telekom and Argela plan on extending their RAN slicing demonstration to include C-RAN platforms in the near future. Argela’s ProgRAN will be demonstrated at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona on February 27-March 2, 2017. Argela’s other innovative solutions will also be on display.

About Türk Telekom Group
Türk Telekom, with a 175 year history, is the first integrated telecommunications company in Turkey. In 2015, Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. adopted a “customer-oriented” integrated structure in order to respond to the rapidly changing communication and technology needs of customers in the most powerful and accurate way, while maintaining the legal entities of Avea İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş. and TTNET A.Ş. intact and adhering to the rules and regulations to which they are subject. In January 2016, Türk Telekom unified its mobile, fixed voice, broadband and TV products and services under the single “Türk Telekom” brand.

As the “Multiplay Provider of Turkey,” Türk Telekom Group Companies offer a complete range of mobile, fixed voice, broadband and TV services. Türk Telekom Group Companies have a wide service network and product range in the fields of individual and corporate services. As of September 30, 2016, Türk Telekom has 12.9 million fixed access lines, 8.4 million broadband and 18.4 million mobile subscribers. Türk Telekom Group Companies provide services in all 81 cities of Turkey with 32,769 employees with the vision of introducing new technologies to Turkey and accelerating Turkey’s transformation into an information society.

Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş., providing PSTN and wholesale broadband services, owns 100% of mobile operator Avea İletişim Hizmetleri A.Ş., retail internet services, IPTV, satellite TV, Web TV, Mobile TV, Smart TV services provider TTNET A.Ş.,TV Broadcasting and VOD services provider Net Ekran Companies, convergence technologies company Argela Yazılım ve Bilişim Teknolojileri A.Ş., IT solution provider Innova Bilişim Çözümleri A.Ş., online education software company Sebit Eğitim ve Bilgi Teknolojileri A.Ş., call center company AssisTT Rehberlik ve Müşteri Hizmetleri A.Ş., wholesale data and capacity service provider Türk Telekom International and its subsidiaries.

About Argela
Argela, a Turk Telekom subsidiary, is an award-winning, next-generation telecommunications solutions provider. Putting research and innovation at the core, Argela continually searches for the next big thing towards innovative new products. Argela is a driving force for 5G initiatives, and 5G enabling technologies and is generating IPR for these technologies. Argela’s product and solutions are enablers for the telecommunications industry as well as for various government and military operations, to do better business, improve their users’ experience and create new opportunities, Argela collaborates with technology companies, consortia and universities worldwide to provide integrated solutions. Argela’s solutions portfolio includes Software-Defined Networks, Programmable RAN, Network Performance Monitoring and Subscriber Analytics, 3G & LTE Small Cell solutions for public and military networks, Cloud-based Video Surveillance and Signaling Applications. Established in 2004, Argela has a wide presence in the Central Asia, Middle East and African markets with multiple deployments in networks of various operators, and in Turkey, with public safety solutions for government and military.

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ProgRAN® is a registered trademark of Argela USA, Inc.