Millicom, Parallel Wireless make LatAm open RAN move.

Millicom to launch open RAN network in LatAm

12 MAY 2021

Millicom selected Parallel Wireless to help it deploy what the vendor claimed will be the first 4G open RAN networks in Latin America, starting with 362 rural sites in Colombia.

The companies will deploy open RAN on LTE networks in the 700MHz spectrum band via the Tigo Colombia brand. The deployment is part of a wider COP$3 trillion ($808.2 million) investment Tigo has committed to the band.

Millicom aims to deliver high-speed connectivity to customers in remote rural areas of Colombia.

EVP and CTIO Xavier Rocoplan explained bringing connectivity to rural areas is just one of the benefits of open RAN: the approach is “also an innovative approach to reducing cost, increasing flexibility and efficiency by diversifying our supplier base”.

“We hope to bring this technology to more sites across our Latin American markets”.

Millicom will use Parallel Wireless’s Distributed Unit (DU) and Central Unit (CU) software running on servers deployed at the mobile sites. Parallel Wireless stated any x86 server can be used with its software to create virtual baseband units, and that the software can interface with radios made by multiple vendors.

Parallel Wireless explained the Millicom deployments will use radios made by several vendors, with it acting as primary systems integrator.

“The mobile operators want an end-to-end systems integrator”, Eugina Jordan, VP of marketing at Parallel Wireless stated. “They expect smaller vendors like us to act like big vendors, and we do”.

Jordan highlighted Parallel Wireless’ experience working with Vodafone Group on an open RAN deployment in the Republic of Ireland, noting the company is also pitching for the operator’s business in the UK.

Earlier this year, Telefonica and IBM began a trial open RAN deployment covering 81,000 inhabitants in the Argentinean city of Puerto Madryn.

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Martha DeGrasse

Freelance tech journalist Martha DeGrasse (@mardegrasse) is delighted to be contributing to Mobile World Live. Martha has written for a number of telecom and wireless publications, and was a writer, editor and video producer at RCR Wireless News for almost...

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