Middle East pushes regional Open RAN with TIP and Intel
TIP and Intel have joined forced with operators from across the Middle East to establish the region’s "first Open RAN centralised test lab".
The development follows the signing of the Open RAN MoU last year, which has now also been signed by Batelco and Omantel, as well as e& - formerly known as Etisalat Group – STC, Zain Group, Mobily, and du .
The MoU saw all commitment to deploy Open RAN across their footprints and enhance "supreme network experiences for end-users", their press release said.
The Middle East lab is intended to provide shared facilities and access to Intel technologies for members and vendors, as well as serving as a catalyst for OpenRAN deployments.
It will provide a platform for the parties to jointly deploy open and disaggregated technologies into their networks to optimise the online experiences of businesses and consumers.
Referring to the partnerships among regional mobile operators, Caroline Chan, VP, network and edge group and TIP board member, Intel said: “This is a great example of how industry collaboration can accelerate the shift toward a software-defined infrastructure at the network edge.
"A virtualised, Open RAN is an area of tremendous innovation, which can be further propelled by leveraging Intel’s FlexRAN reference architecture with optimised software and hardware components. The lab opens new possibilities to innovate 5G services that can accelerate the digital transformation in the Middle East.”
Mohamed Al Marzooqi, VP, technology synergies, e& said: “More than ever, our customers rely on high-quality connectivity for their daily requirements. The need for such smart connectivity will only increase in the future. I’m delighted to witness more operators from our region partnering with us in our efforts to position the Middle East as a global leader in developing and deploying such innovative network solutions.
“Etisalat is committed to supporting technology and service innovation within the markets where we operate, through our participation in TIP and our partnership with Intel. We strongly believe open technologies present the right prospects to achieve this, while helping enhance the flexibility and efficiency of our networks.”