SK Telecom (SKT) developed and tested a next-generation open RAN virtual base station, claiming improved processing capacity and reduced power consumption in partnerships with Samsung, Ericsson, Nokia and Intel.

The improvements were made during interconnection tests of a virtual base station equipped with a built-in accelerator with Samsung and Ericsson, and with an in-line accelerator with Nokia in a separate trial.

In a statement, SKT noted capacity gains and reductions in power usage are the main technical difficulties in shifting to open RAN virtual base stations.

During a joint test with Intel on an AI-based virtual base station, the pair were able to reduce power consumption by more than 20 per cent.

SKT said the technology used can predict traffic patterns and efficiently control the operation of each CPU core of a virtual base station server. 

Open RAN technology separates the hardware and software of mobile communications equipment including base stations and allows apparatus from different manufacturers to interoperate through standardisation of interfaces between vendors, SKT explained.