Pia Habel


Deutsche Telekom and partners build Edge Computing testbed with low-latency vRAN technology: The Living Edge Lab

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  • Living Edge Lab testbed advances Edge Computing technology and developer environments
  • Ultra-low latency testbed combines a fully softwarized network with a modular RAN platform
  • Unique Edge Computing platform that leverages fully virtualized end-to-end solution

Deutsche Telekom, in collaboration with infrastructure partner Crown Castle, and vRAN solution vendor Altiostar, announces the extension of its Living Edge Lab (LEL), an ultra-low latency mobile testbed to three sites centered on Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), Pittsburgh, PA, USA. 

Living Edge Lab partners, as members of the Open Edge Computing Initiative (OEC), have the mission to build a real-world testbed for Edge Computing with leading edge applications and for user acceptance testing. This open Edge Computing infrastructure, platform and API, offers developers and technology providers the necessary framework to migrate their cloud- or device-based products towards the network edge.  

“The Living Edge Lab testbed is a major technology milestone towards use-case centric Edge Computing and will provide application developers with an early experience of the benefits of 5G technology,” says Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Research and Technology Innovation at Deutsche Telekom. “It is a unique Edge Computing platform that leverages a fully virtualized end-to-end solution and the  implementation of user-tracing beamforming antennas for the first time in a live environment.”

The Edge Computing setup combines a fully softwarized network with a modular Radio Access Network (RAN) platform as the key enabling concept for future low-latency networks. The wireless access in the 3.5GHz band leverages advanced LTE and 5G features such as Massive MIMO, Active Antenna Systems (AAS), and beamforming technology by Airrays, a German radio vendor, and is powered by state-of-the-art vRAN (virtual RAN) technology by Altiostar of Tewksbury, Massachusetts.

The vRAN solution uses an innovative method to connect the AAS panels with the virtualized baseband unit (vBBU), a performance optimized NFV platform running on Commercial off the Shelf (CoTS) hardware inside the CMU campus alongside the Edge Computing server “Cloudlet”. Connectivity to each site leverages extensive fiber optic networks owned and maintained by Crown Castle. The LEL’s tailored network design in combination with both vRAN and massive MIMO offers an ideal test bed for innovative 5G applications requiring high bandwidth and latency as low as 15 ms.

In 2018, the Living Edge Lab testbeds will be utilized to accelerate the development and demonstration of new Edge Computing applications jointly with industry partners.

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