Amazon Web Services (AWS) will support the commercial deployment of NTT Docomo's 5G Open RAN network in Japan.

NTT will use AWS to deploy Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service Anywhere (Amazon EKS Anywhere), a container management software, at its 5G Open RAN.

NTT Docomo
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Open RAN diversifies the supply chain for telcos, allowing them to 'mix and match' solutions from multiple vendors, which is impossible with proprietary network equipment.

According to AWS, its EKS Anywhere service will make it easier for integration with other AWS services in AWS Regions, as operators drive end-to-end cloud-based network transformation from 5G Core network (5G Core) to Operational Support System (OSS) and Business Support System (BSS).

The partnership will see AWS support NTT in developing its 5G Core on AWS, which runs in a hybrid cloud environment.

NTT has previously worked with AWS on proof of concepts (PoCs) that run cloud-native 5G Core software in a hybrid cloud environment, as part of its efforts to prepare for natural disasters, such as typhoons.

AWS noted that such PoCs found that NTT was able to reduce power consumption for 5G Core by an average of 72 percent.

“Our philosophy at NTT Docomo is to prioritize our customers and satisfy them with personalized communications solutions and unparalleled customer support," said Hozumi Tamura, senior EVP, head of telecommunication business of NTT Docomo.

"We’re also addressing social issues like climate neutrality and disaster preparedness. We believe that the collaboration with AWS and Project Kuiper will accelerate innovation and deliver more resilient, flexible, and power-efficient networks for our customers. Having AWS participate in our OREX initiative will enable us to lead the global expansion of the Open RAN ecosystem.”

The telco, which has more than 89 million subscribers, picked Nokia's Open RAN 5G AirScale baseband kit for its commercial network in November.

The Open RAN network includes Centralized Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU) software, which will be deployed across Japan.

In September, NTT Docomo paired with semiconductor company Nvidia to deploy a GPU-accelerated wireless solution in its network.

In doing so, the company claims to be the first telco in the world to deploy a GPU-accelerated commercial 5G network.

Its 5G Open RAN network uses a high-performance 5G virtual radio access network (vRAN) from Fujitsu built on the Nvidia Aerial vRAN stack and Nvidia Converged Accelerators.

Amazon's Project Kuiper, an LEO satellite broadband network from Amazon, partnered with a number of Japanese companies last year, as part of plans to provide connectivity in rural parts of the country, and also during times when a natural disaster has occurred.