Telefonica unit hails open RAN potential, launches pilot - Mobile World Live

Telefonica unit hails open RAN potential, launches pilot

17 DEC 2020

Telefonica Deutschland claimed a German market first with the deployment of open RAN technology at three sites in Bavaria, with the operator backing the technology to transform the mobile sector and lay the foundation for new services.

Announcing the launch of its three-site pilot, the operator said it was the first time a mobile provider had relied on the technology in a live network in the country. It plans to roll out the system more widely in the second half of 2021.

It noted the shift to an open ecosystem would increase the range of suppliers available to it and accelerate introduction of new services.

Telefonica Deutschland estimates the move from dependency on traditional RAN vendors to selection from a larger range of providers could cut radio network costs by 30 per cent in the long run.

CEO Markus Haas said the approach “offers us maximum flexibility in deployment and also in the subsequent replacement of system-critical components. On the basis of such technological approaches, we can secure and further accelerate digitisation in Germany”.

The operator signed-up with NEC to coordinate the project, which will use hardware and software from a range of companies including Dell, Intel, Red Hat and Supermicro.

Telefonica has been one of the major operator groups most vocal on its optimism over the use of open RAN technology, with the company inking a partnership with Rakuten Mobile in September covering ecosystem developments.

It was also one of the first members of the O-RAN Alliance and has announced plans for several other trials across its footprint.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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