Millicom picks Parallel Wireless open RAN for Colombia

Millicom picks Parallel Wireless open RAN for Colombia

12 May 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Millicom has started the first moves to open RAN operation in its mobile networks in Latin America.

The company, which last month sold its remaining businesses in Africa, will use Parallel Wireless’s open RAN infrastructure for 4G services in rural Colombia, eventually extending to cities.

Xavier Rocoplan (pictured), Millicom’s chief technology and information officer, said that open RAN “not only means connecting more people in rural areas, starting with Colombia, but it’s also an innovative approach to reducing cost, increasing flexibility and efficiency by diversifying our supplier base”.

Parallel Wireless noted that there are many rural locations throughout Colombia which do not have mobile broadband. Millicom, which operates under the Tigo brand, will use 700MHz spectrum to offer 4G services such as e-learning, digital banking and streaming video.

Rocoplan added: “We hope to bring this technology to more sites across our Latin American markets, as we fulfil our purpose to build digital highways that connect people, improve lives, and help develop our communities.”

Parallel Wireless president Keith Johnson said: “Millicom is an innovator in mobile connectivity, and we are excited to partner with them.”

The vendor said that Millicom’s network would be compliant with O-RAN standards — which are set by the O-RAN Alliance — and would be cloud-based and 5G-ready.