O2 makes O-RAN move - Mobile World Live

O2 makes O-RAN move

16 JAN 2020

Telefonica’s O2 UK struck partnerships with a number of companies to help it deploy O-RAN technology, a move designed to improve network coverage across the country.

In a statement, O2 said it was opening up its RAN to non-traditional partners Mavenir, Dense Air, Wavemobile and Real Wireless to exploit the possibilities of O-RAN, as it expects commercial deployments of the technology to pick up pace over the next 18 months to 24 months.

Telefonica is a big advocate of O-RAN and was one of the first members of the O-RAN Alliance, an industry consortium formed to foster open network architecture and standardised interfaces. Fellow European operator Vodafone Group is also heavily pushing O-RAN, with plans to hold a tender regarding deployment across its entire European footprint.

O2 outlined how some of its partners will help it introduce O-RAN, a technology it believes will “help it define mobile network economics”.

With Mavenir, O2 said it will work to enhance coverage and capacity in high-density environments in London, with a specific focus on improving connectivity in stadiums and shopping centres.

The partnership with Dense Air covers deploying O-RAN in 4G and 5G networks in a rural village.

Wavemobile touted an active O-RAN network on several sites across the UK which carry mobile traffic for O2 customers, with the set-up due to be expanded to harder-to-reach locations in the future.

O2 CTO Brendan O’Reilly said O-RAN “represents a really exciting opportunity”.

“By opening up our radio access network to smaller vendors, and as we look towards wider adoption of 5G, O-RAN will be part of the solution to bring the latest connectivity to more people around the country.”

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Kavit Majithia

Kavit joined Mobile World Live in May 2015 as Content Editor. He started his journalism career at the Press Association before joining Euromoney’s graduate scheme in April 2010. Read More >>

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