Napatech: It's the software

AUSTIN – Big 5G Event – According to Charlie Ashton, Napatech's senior director of business development, the company's selling point is not its hardware. It's software.

"We give them a true IT experience," he says about the company's customers, during an interview at the Big 5G Event. He explains that the company's software, coupled with its hardware, gives customers the ability to quickly and easily upgrade their network infrastructure without the need for extensive programming on their part.

But that's not Napatech's only selling point. Ashton says the company's products also help operators support more customers with less spending and less energy usage than rival offerings.

Napatech uses SmartNICs based on field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) to run the 5G user plane function (UPF) data plane. UPF traffic bypasses the server processor and instead is processed on the SmartNIC (essentially, a network interface card with added cleverness).

Ashton also discusses trends he sees happening in the industry. For example, he says interest is growing in smaller, custom private wireless networks.

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— Mike Dano, Editorial Director, 5G & Mobile Strategies, Light Reading | @mikeddano

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