Juniper RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) brings intelligence, agility, and programmability to radio access networks (RAN) by enabling third-party applications that can improve service experience, reduce infrastructure and operational costs, and deliver new business models.
The Juniper RIC platform is based on a cloud-native microservices architecture and is fully compliant with the open radio access network (O-RAN) specifications and interfaces. Juniper RIC includes the non-real-time RIC (non-RT), the near-real-time RIC (near-RT), and specialized applications called rApps and xApps.
Juniper® RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) is an open and interoperable platform that enables onboarding of third-party applications that can automate and optimize RAN operations at scale while supporting innovative use cases that lower mobile operators’ TCO and enhance customers’ quality of experience (QoE). Use cases such as quality of service/quality of experience (QoS/QoE) optimization and traffic steering improve service performance for personalized and custom experiences, while RAN efficiency use cases can lower operations costs by reducing energy consumption. The Juniper RIC platform can also help mobile operators build new revenue streams with personalized services, network slicing, and indoor location tracking capabilities.
Architecture and Key Components
The Juniper RIC platform is based on a cloud-native microservices architecture and is fully compliant with the O-RAN specifications and interfaces. Juniper RIC includes the Non-RT and Near-RT RIC with their associated rApps and xApps to control the RAN network functions, O-RAN Distributed Units (O-DUs) and O-RAN Central Units (O-CUs). It supports both an open API and an SDK for integration with any third-party O-RAN-compliant xApps or rApps, giving network operators greater flexibility and choice of suppliers. The Juniper RIC integrates with any O-RAN-compliant Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) solution.
The non-RT RIC enables greater-than-one-second control and policy guidance over the RAN elements and their resources through rApps. It also enables AI/ML capabilities for the RAN. The non-real-time RIC runs in the network operator’s cloud.
The near-RT RIC is responsible for fast loop control of the RAN network functions. It provides less-than-one-second control over the RAN nodes and resources . It can host and deploy specialized xApps.
The non-RT RIC communicates with the near-RT RIC over an A1 interface to provide policy-based guidance to the xApps running on the near-RT RIC to optimize RAN behavior, such as for capacity, customer-specific service levels, or energy efficiency. The non-RT RIC uses long-term network data, such as performance metrics as well as enrichment data from external applications, to train and generate AI/ML-driven applications.
Juniper RIC platform gives network operators the power to run a variety of xApps/rApps either from Juniper or third-party vendors. Juniper’s approach is designed to simplify application portability, giving developers and customers more options. When developing xApps or rApps for the RIC, developers can choose to use a network-based API, which eliminates compile-time dependencies, or an SDK-based API.
Table 1 shows rApps and xApps that Juniper and its partners provide.
|Tenant/Slice-aware admission control
|Deliver priority services for any user type at any time
|RAN Slice SLA assurance
|Assure delivery of SLAs for each slice
|Deliver energy savings by switching off cell, network element, and network function during periods of low traffic
|Enhance user experience by dynamically balancing the load across the network
|Self-Organizing Network (SON) apps
|Accelerate and simplify mobile network deployment and operations with automation and optimization applications
Juniper RIC also supports third-party rApps/xApps from Parallel Wireless and AirHop.
Features and Benefits
Open and Interoperable RIC Platform
Juniper RIC is fully compliant to O-RAN specifications and interfaces on the northbound and southbound side for easier integration with partner solutions in the Open RAN ecosystem. It can interface with any O-RAN compliant O-CU/O-DU, onboard third-party O-RAN compliant xApps/rApps, and integrate with any O-RAN compliant SMO solutions.
Open API and SDK
The Juniper RIC architecture supports both an open API and an SDK for simplified integration with third-party applications and systems. The Juniper approach is designed to simplify application portability, giving developers and customers more flexibility. When developing xApps/rApps for the RIC, developers can choose to use a network-based API, which eliminates compile-time dependencies, or a C++ SDK.
Microservices-based Containerized Architecture
The Juniper RIC platform is based on a cloud-native microservices architecture to provide better scalability and extensibility. It supports Software as a Service (SaaS) as well as on-premises deployment models.
Industry and Ecosystem Leadership
Juniper is an active proponent of Open RAN in several industry and standards organizations. Juniper contributes to 7 of the 11 working groups in the O-RAN Alliance. Juniper chairs the Network Slicing Task Group, co-chairs the Use Case Task Group, and serves as editor and contributor to several specification documents.
Please contact your Juniper sales representative for information on ordering Juniper RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC).
About Juniper Networks
At Juniper Networks, we are dedicated to dramatically simplifying network operations and driving superior experiences for end users. Our solutions deliver industry-leading insight, automation, security and AI to drive real business results. We believe that powering connections will bring us closer together while empowering us all to solve the world’s greatest challenges of well-being, sustainability and equality.
1000773 - 001 - EN MAY 2023