Open RAN showcase based on small cells

Technology News |
By Jean-Pierre Joosting

O2/Telefónica Germany and NEC Corporation have successful launched the first Open and virtual RAN architecture-based small cells in Germany. The service based on these small cells has initially launched in the city center of Munich to enhance the customer experience by providing increased capacity to the existing mobile network in this dense, urban area.

NEC serves as the prime system integrator in the four countries served by Telefónica S.A. Further, NEC runs a program to explore ways to apply Open RAN in various geographies (urban, sub-urban, rural) and use cases.

In this German deployment, the flexibility of Open RAN is leveraged through the use of small cells to improve capacity in dense, urban areas. One of the key advantages of Open RAN over a traditional architecture is that it allows wider choice of vendor options. NEC integrated a multi-vendor architecture that includes the unique Airspeed plug-and-play solution from Airspan Networks and Rakuten Symphony’s Open vRAN software for O2/Telefónica Germany’s small cells to complement the existing multi-vendor based macro cells in its network.

The adoption of Open RAN small cells combined with macro cells will pave the way for 5G densification. This will be especially beneficial in Germany, where multiple industries and enterprises are seeking ways to utilize cellular service functionalities in a particular area or in shared physical spaces.

O2/Telefónica Germany and NEC will continue their collaboration leveraging innovative Open RAN technologies, as well as automation, to validate and deploy advanced networks that efficiently deliver superior customer experiences in the 5G era, with collaboration from key partners.

“We have launched Germany’s first small cells built on innovative Open RAN technologies that help to complete the delivery of granular, high-quality connectivity in dense urban areas,” said Matthias Sauder, Director Mobile Access and Transport at O2/Telefónica Germany. “NEC became our partner in this innovative project, with its underlying technological background and experiences of Open RAN technologies.”

“The potential of Open RAN technologies in the 5G era is infinite,” said Shigeru Okuya, Senior Vice President, NEC Corporation.


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