LIVE FROM MWL UNWRAPPED: Bermuda-based Paradise Mobile CEO Sam Tabbara (pictured) revealed it was weeks away from signing with one of the big traditional vendors to construct what it claims will be the world’s fastest and most advanced 5G network before selecting open RAN pioneer Mavenir.

During a discussion with Antonio Correa, Mavenir’s senior regional VP for southern Europe, Caribbean and Latin America, Tabbara said it had spent a lot of time with the usual vendor suspects and a deal was imminent, before its partner AWS pushed it to consider Mavenir at the eleventh-hour.

“We did it out of professional courtesy, because we really thought we had no time to pivot. But Mavenir really did impress us from day one because we still were not 100 per cent sure we were making the right decision.”

He added Paradise Mobile shared the unique set of challenges Bermuda presented it with and “within days” Mavenir offered a full solution.

“Not only were they incredibly fast, they got it.”

The deal between the pair to build a cloud-native network was signed in February and Correa said it had now completed the necessary work, with a launch planned by the year-end.

With lofty ambitions to build the world’s “most advanced 5G network”, Tabbara added there was no question about pursuing anything other than an open approach, as the start-up attempts to rival incumbents Digicel and One Communications.

He said Paradise Mobile had looked at open RAN since 2019 and it was important to build a platform which could serve specific services, for example network slicing and other features requested by customers, at speed.

“There was no doubt about having open standards. In any domain and technology, closed proprietary black boxes are kryptonite to innovation, to flexibility and to competition.”