Samsung and Telefonica Deutschland teamed to trial cloud-native virtual and open RAN technologies, moves the operator believes are crucial to transform its infrastructure and open new service opportunities.

The companies stated they aim to prove the viability of disaggregated hardware and software elements in a network which work in tandem with individual virtualised components.

Telefonica and Samsung will first conduct laboratory tests of 4G and 5G virtual and open RAN technologies before field tests on the operator’s 5G network “to achieve technical and operational readiness”.

The operator’s CTIO Mallik Rao said a cloud-native and autonomous architecture is a “central pillar of network transformation to accelerate the adoption of innovative services”.

Telefonica is seeking additional computation in a flexible cloud environment, which it expects will improve automation, availability, deployment speed and capacity steering.

The companies highlighted the potential for virtualised RAN in areas including low-latency and high-availability use cases.

Samsung will provide its 4G and 5G vRAN software and open RAN radios covering low- and mid-bands, including 3.5GHz Massive MIMO radios.

The commercial pilot will also include Dell Technologies’ servers, Intel’s Xeon processor and Wind River’s cloud platform.