Orange unveiled an open RAN-dedicated lab in France using network equipment from Samsung and Nokia, a move designed to push forward the approach by providing a facility for the wider ecosystem to test products and services.

In a statement, the operator explained its Open RAN Integration Center will be open to equipment suppliers, start-ups and system integrators who aim to trial the operation and interoperability between components developed by different suppliers.

Orange’s new facility has been approved as an open testing and integration centre by the O-RAN Alliance. Alongside Samsung and Nokia other partners include Dell as an open infrastructure provider and Intel as a supplier of platform, processor and acceleration technologies.

CTIO of Orange Michael Trabbia said the move aimed to “accelerate the development of an open, intelligent, cloud-based RAN and create a rich open RAN ecosystem in Europe”.

In a separate statement, Samsung touted itself as the only major player to conduct commercial deployments of virtualised RAN (vRAN) in North America, Europe and Asia, as its confirmed its vRAN product would be used in the Orange facility.

Earlier this year Orange shared intentions to work with Nokia and Ericsson when deploying open RAN in Europe.