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.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back