4G, 5G Open RAN technology trials to launch this year
Trials of 4G and 5G Open RAN will commence in the UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil this year after Telefónica confirmed a “strategic ecosystem collaboration” with Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro and Xilinx, Inc.
Telefónica said the partnership will examine design and developments, integration efforts, operational procedures and testing activities required to deliver Open RAN across its global footprint.
This work will specifically include development, optimisation, testing and industrialisation of Open RAN technologies.
In a statement, the firm said: “Open RAN represents a paradigm change in network technology where radio baseband hardware is based on standard servers, interfaces between network equipment are open and standardized by the O-RAN Alliance, and the baseband software runs in the Telco Cloud by adopting the Automation and Zero-Touch capabilities that the NFV/SDN paradigm can bring.”
The collaboration focuses on the appropriate Distributed Units (DUs) that implement part of the baseband radio functions using the FlexRAN software reference platform and Intel® Xeon® processor based servers, appropriate Remote Radio Units (RRUs) connected through open interfaces based on O-RAN fronthaul specification, and suitable Software that manages the connectivity in an open Cloud RAN architecture.
“Once again, Telefónica is leading the transformation towards having the best-in-class networks in our Operations with our customers as key pillars. Open RAN is a fundamental piece for that purpose while widening the ecosystem,” said Enrique Blanco, Telefónica CTIO.
Dan Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms Group, added: “Open RAN offers a way for service providers to enhance customer experiences and enable new revenue-generating applications.
“We are collaborating closely with Telefonica and the broader ecosystem, and also participating in initiatives like the O-RAN Alliance, to help accelerate innovation in the industry.”
Once established, Open RAN will support the delivery of virtual and augmented reality, online gaming, connected cars and industrial IoT.