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Aether Refactored for Scalable, Customizable Private 5G Deployments

Sep 6, 2023
Larry Peterson
Larry Peterson About the author

Commercial grade 5G radios now available to support native 5G configurations

Aether, the open source private 5G project, has now made available early access to a refactored version of its platform designed to simplify and speed deployments. Known as Aether 2.2.0-dev, the new version marks the transformation of Aether from a managed service to a platform supporting full customization and control in how it is deployed. Previously, Aether was only practically available through either the U.S. government funded research initiative Project Pronto or as a managed service from ONF spinout Ananki (Ananki was acquired by Intel in 2022). The focus of Aether 2.2.0-dev is to make it easy for enterprises to deploy on their own, furthering the democratization of 5G connectivity. Early adopters are encouraged to engage with this new offering and participate in the community.

Aether 2.2.0-dev is built around OnRamp -- Ansible playbooks and documentation -- that helps users customize Aether for their specific deployment needs. Designed to empower the full spectrum of users from those who want to learn about 5G to those wanting to deploy, scale and customize the platform, OnRamp provides a foundation for continuous delivery (CD) as part of life cycle management to smooth deployment and future software upgrades. 

While ‘Private 5G’ has been widely publicized, the prevailing reality has been that the vast majority of private mobile deployments have been based on 4G radios due to the limited availability of 5G small cells. The Aether project is pleased to report that the ecosystem supporting Aether now includes 5G small cells from MosoLabs, with a recently released 5G small cell that has been tested and verified with Aether version 2.2.0-dev.  Additional details on the MosoLabs 5G hardware compatible with the Aether platform can be found in the ONF Marketplace.

Aether Ecosystem
Aether was launched in late 2020 and is widely recognized as the leading open source private 5G platform. Aether provides a cloud optimized solution, running on Kubernetes as native microservices with scaleout. Optimized for the rigors of enterprise Industry 4.0 applications, Aether offers an end-to-end solution that can be deployed with a range of RAN options, including open RAN.

The Aether community has expanded with adoption by commercial, research, academia, and government entities, including:

Commercial - Intel, Kajeet, Dubai Telecom
Research - CPQD, OpenRAN@Brasil, RNP, SLICES
Academia - Cornell, Princeton, Purdue, Stanford, University of Massachusetts
Government - DARPA (Project Pronto)

Learn More & Live Techinar
The Aether ecosystem is open to individuals and organizations who are seeking to deploy and ideally, contribute to the Aether community. An overview of Aether is available on our website; technical resources, including software and documentation, can be accessed on the ONF wiki.

I will also be hosting a live techinar to learn more about the latest Aether features and future plans from community members on September 19th, 8:00 am Pacific - register here!


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Larry PetersonChief Scientist
Larry Peterson is the Chief Scientist at ONF. He came to ONF from Princeton, where he was the Robert E. Kahn Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Princeton-hosted PlanetLab Consortium. He served as chair of the CS Department from 2003-2009. In 2007, Peterson co-founded CoBlitz LLC to commercialize CDN technology developed on PlanetLab. CoBlitz was acquired by Verivue Inc. in 2010, and subsequently by Akamai in 2012. Peterson is co-author of the best-selling networking textbook Computer Networks: A Systems Approach (6E), which is now open sourced. His research focuses on the design and implementation of networked systems. Peterson is a former Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Computer Systems, was on the Editorial Board for the IEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking and the IEEE Journal on Select Areas in Communication, and served as program chair for SOSP, NSDI, and HotNets. Peterson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the ACM and the IEEE, the 2010 recipient of the IEEE Kobayashi Computer and Communication Award and the 2013 recipient of the ACM SIGCOMM Award. He received his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University.