Telefónica has grouped together a consortium of companies including Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro and Xilinx to assist the development and deployment of Open RAN in both 4G and 5G.
The new collective effort will enable Telefónica to launch 5G Open RAN trials in the UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil this year.
Open RAN essentially reduces the cost of providing 5G networks by standardising the design and functionality of the hardware and software in the RAN. This, therefore, increases the number of companies supplying the components.
Leading the transformation
Open RAN technology is affordable, adaptable and works well with mobile edge computing, making it the perfect match for 5G networks. Telefónica and its consortium of companies plan to get the ball rolling on these 5G Open RAN trials as soon as possible which is certainly ambitious considering unprecedented current events.
“Once again, Telefónica is leading the transformation towards having the best-in-class networks in our operations with our customers as key pillars,” said Enrique Blanco, Telefónica CTIO. “Open RAN is a fundamental piece for that purpose while widening the ecosystem.”
“Open RAN offers a way for service providers to enhance customer experiences and enable new revenue-generating applications,” said Dan Rodriguez GM of Intel’s Network Platforms Group. “We are collaborating closely with Telefonica and the broader ecosystem, and also participating in initiatives like the O-RAN Alliance, to help accelerate innovation in the industry.”
It’ll be interesting to see how the big telecommunications equipment suppliers react to these Open RAN trials as it poses a huge threat to their business models. The competition will be fierce but Telefónica counters this by saying that Open RAN is nowhere near ready and trials are only just beginning.