KDDI turned on what it claimed as the world’s first commercial standalone (SA) 5G site using virtualised RAN (vRAN) equipment from Samsung and Fujitsu, enabling the operator to speed its network rollout by automating the process.

The Japan-based operator and equipment vendor stated the O-RAN Alliance-compliant deployment combines Samsung’s software-based virtualised central and distributed set-up with Fujitsu’s radio units. The site uses vRAN software running on commercial off-the-shelf servers.

In a separate release, Samsung noted the interoperability of its vRAN equipment with another radio supplier in a commercial deployment, which supports network slicing and multi-access edge computing.

Samsung’s baseband equipment and Fujitsu’s Massive MIMO units are connected through an open interface.

Shingo Mizuno, vice head of Fujitsu’s System Platform Business, said the open RAN sector offers “many exciting possibilities” and the deployment demonstrated the “innovative potential of next-generation mobile services with Massive MIMO units”.

KDDI began working with the two vendors to deploy a virtualised 5G network in 2020.