Telefonica invested an undisclosed sum in open virtualised RAN vendor Altiostar, as the Spanish and Latin American operator group dabbled further in the software-centric network market.
The operator stated the investment, made through its Telefonica Innovation Ventures arm, would accelerate its network transformation and open the doors for “both established and new telecom operators to adopt open, cloud technologies and deploy web-scale networks in the future”.
Telefonica CTIO Enrique Blanco said open RAN would enable the company to create a fully software-based “web-scaled radio access network with unprecedented capacity and performance”.
Other investors in Altiostar include Rakuten, Qualcomm, Cisco and Tech Mahindra. Altiostar raised $114 million during a funding round in May.
Both Telefónica and Altiostar were early members of the O-RAN Alliance, an industry consortium formed in 2018 to foster open architecture and standardised interfaces.
Telefónica began an evaluation of technologies that can run on commoditised hardware through open and standardised interfaces in June 2018. In October, at the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) Forum, Altiostar was selected as one of the operator’s chosen vendors (along with Mavenir and Parallel Wireless), for deployments in Latin America.
More news is expected on Telefonica’s use of open RAN technologies at next month’s TIP event in Amsterdam.
Telefonica is keen for RAN systems to become interoperable, as opposed to that provided by the traditional incumbent vendor model. Vodafone also made a big splash earlier this month when it announced it was trialling OpenRAN technology in Europe.
“This future is not possible through the continued deployment of traditional RAN solutions,” claimed Ashraf Dahod, CEO and Chairman of Altiostar, in a statement. “To be successful, operators must embrace new innovative solutions that possess the openness, programmability and automation delivered through a software-defined, cloud-native platform and an open supply chain. We are honored that a global operator like Telefónica is joining us on the journey of innovation in the RAN industry through disaggregation, network virtualisation and building a multi-vendor open ecosystem.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back