Malaysia-headquartered Axiata Group outlined an ambitious network transformation and modernisation plan after conducting open RAN field pilots in Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka, claiming a number of firsts.
Partnering with Mavenir and Parallel Wireless, with backing from systems integrator Infosys, Axiata plans large-scale commercial open RAN deployments by the year-end.
Axiata deployed Mavenir’s MAVair open virtualised RAN (vRAN) covering open RAN, packet core and mobile network applications at selected sites in Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka.
The operator said the pilots were the first conducted in Sri Lanka and Malaysia.
Sites used microwave and satellite backhaul, making the trials the first satellite backhaul powered open vRAN sites in the world, the operator stated.
Axiata said the tests were also the first commercial deployment of the Telecom Infra Project’s (TIP) Evenstar 4G radio unit architecture.
In February, TIP selected Parallel Wireless’ open RAN software for infrastructure initiatives at its first laboratory in Indonesia. XL Axiata, along with other mobile operators in the country, are participating.
The operator’s Sri Lanka unit Dialog Axiata also demonstrated a deployment of Parallel Wireless’ cloud-native 2G and 4G open RAN system, with field trials elevated to commercial availability.
Thomas Hundt, Axiata EVP for technology, said it is committed to embracing fully automated infrastructure to boost the open networks ecosystem in Asia.
He explained the trials “prove that open RAN solutions enable greater operational and cost efficiencies using advanced technologies, whilst also meeting the needs of our digital inclusion efforts across the region”.
Hundt argued open RAN is the future for mobile networks and “will be critical for 4G expansions as well as the 5G evolution that Axiata’s markets will soon embrace”.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back