The UK Government and NEC Corporation have announced the launch of the NEC "NeutrORAN" project, which will showcase the latest innovations in the Open Radio Access Network (RAN) space. The project will be used to test and demonstrate a multiple operator, neutral host system using an Open RAN ecosystem. NEC considers the planned architecture to be scalable and to have potential on a global scale beyond the UK. The project objectives are to reduce costs and drive efficiencies enabling rural communities and businesses to prosper by removing the digital divides that still exist in the UK and the rest of the world.
This pioneering project will see 5G Open RAN live within the UK in 2021, testing systems to deploy 5G networks in cost effective, innovative and secure ways.
NEC is leading the drive on open standards with the establishment of a Global Open RAN Center of Excellence in the UK. The NeutrORAN will be one of the first projects delivered by the Center of Excellence. It will help give mobile companies greater choice and flexibility in how they build their networks and enable diversification the global telecoms supply chain.
"The project is another step in NEC’s growing commitment to the UK and follows the establishment of the company’s Global Open RAN Center of Excellence in the UK," said Oliver Dowden, UK Government Digital Secretary.
"We see this project as a catalyst for NEC introducing Open RAN into the UK and enabling the acceleration of 5G deployment," said Chris Jackson, CEO of NEC Europe Ltd.