TIM sets up open RAN test and integration centre in Turin

TIM sets up open RAN test and integration centre in Turin

10 June 2021 | Alan Burkitt-Gray

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Italian operator TIM has set up an open RAN test and integration lab in the city of Turin.

TIM, which is one of the five European mobile groups that are collaborating to push open radio access network (RAN) services, said the OTIC (open test and integration centre) lab was approved by the O-RAN Alliance.

The others are Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone.

The OTIC lab will be based at the TIM group’s innovation laboratories (pictured) in Turin. It will operate with the entire open RAN ecosystem, including equipment providers, start-ups and systems integrators.

The aim, said TIM, is to test new solutions and accelerate the deployment of this technology for the new pan-European mobile network architecture based on 5G, cloud and edge computing.

“The lab offers a collaborative, open, impartial and qualified working environment and physical space to support the wide adoption of O-RAN specifications,” said TIM.

“The lab promotes the opening of the O-RAN ecosystem by developing implementations and solutions, by testing and verifying the compliance of RAN equipment — antennas, radio base stations, etc — from individual or different suppliers with the specifications of the O-RAN interfaces and by providing technical results to the community on the experiences gained during testing.”

TIM became the first of the five to deploy an open RAN network in Europe when it launched services in Faenza in April, using US company JMA Wireless to supply a solution that decouples the hardware and software of the RAN.

TIM has been a member of the O-RAN Alliance since 2018 and it signed the memorandum of understanding with Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica and Vodafone to promote open RAN solutions in February 2021.