Global operators welcomed a push by Qualcomm around open RAN 5G networks, highlighting the importance of the approach for broader vendor choice and enhanced network capabilities.
At Qualcomm’s annual 5G Summit, Vodafone Group head of network architecture Santiago Tenorio (pictured) cited a recent move with the US chipmaker covering joint development of open RAN reference designs as a key step.
“Now, for the first time, we are not just competing in catching up with the incumbent architecture. I think we have a reasonable chance to actually overtake the performance of the incumbent architecture and come up with solutions that are open RAN-based and perform better”, Tenorio explained.
He noted Qualcomm aimed to accelerate 5G Massive MIMO, a step required to roll out open RAN and enter dense urban deployments.
NTT Docomo EVP and CTO Naoki Tani said the company partnered with Qualcomm as part of a coalition formed in February.
The operator has “high expectations” for Qualcomm’s plans to deliver “radio unit platforms with Massive MIMO capabilities”.
He said those are needed in scenarios of high capacity, such as in dense urban environments.
“It’s important for operators to swiftly and flexibly provide the infrastructure, settings and the quality to meet” diverse customer demands, the Docomo executive added.
Deutsche Telekom SVP of group technology innovation Arash Ashouriha explained the company was exploring ways to incorporate Qualcomm’s technology within its open RAN strategy.
He noted the “software and hardware decoupling” with open RAN will create “a much richer ecosystem”, and thus had formed a fundamental part of the operator’s strategy for some time.
Deutsche Telekom planned to test the approach “in the real life” by launching the first phase of an “open RAN town” in Germany in the next few months.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back