Telus VP warns of open RAN challenges - Mobile World Live

Telus VP warns of open RAN challenges

25 SEP 2020

BIG 5G EVENT: Telus executive Bernard Bureau emphasised open RAN compatibility as a must for network vendors hoping to secure its business in future, and revealed the operator aims to deploy standalone (SA) 5G by end-2022.

In a keynote, the VP of network and architecture strategy pointed to open RAN as “the way forward”, stating Telus would be looking for “a clear commitment” to the approach from vendors.

Though Bureau predicted open RAN will be a “game changer”, he noted integration costs could be challenging for smaller operators.

“It’s more difficult for us to apply in Canada given the number of frequency bands we have”, he explained, adding it could be harder to cover the cost of “this interoperability” because operators in the nation have around a tenth the number of sites of those in the US.

Meanwhile, Telus’ SA 5G launch timing is dependent on the speed with which the application ecosystem matures, Bureau said. The operator is targeting uses in agriculture, healthcare, smart cities and utilities.

He warned operators in North America need to “speed up” development of new applications to compete with rivals in Asia and Europe, adding “there’s still time to catch up” before SA 5G “becomes mainstream”.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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