South Korea-based KT completed verification tests for open fronthaul using Fujitsu’s open RAN 5G base station to connect a call during interoperability trials, aiming to speed use of the technology in its 5G network.

In a translated statement, the operator explained it set up a multi-vendor interworking test environment at its R&D facility in Seoul using Fujitsu’s 5G base station, linking 5G base station equipment developed in-house with the vendor’s equipment.

NTT Docomo provided Fujitsu with technical support for the trials. The operator said it was the first to deploy the vendor’s O-RAN Alliance-compliant 5G base stations for commercial service.

Following the tests, the three companies today (6 January) agreed to develop more advanced open RAN technologies including software-defined vRAN and RAN intelligent controllers (RICs), starting with the construction of a testbed and multi-vendor interoperability trials in South Korea.

The cooperation is part of work Fujitsu and Docomo are undertaking in a project dubbed the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem initiative.

Lee Jong-sik, head of KT’s Convergence Technology Research Center, said it established a strategy to “efficiently respond to new demands for wireless networks, such as specialised 5G networks”.

The operator is looking to introduce open RAN equipment to reduce procurement and construction costs, and for more flexible network construction capabilities.