Telefónica and NEC will carry out pre-commercial tests of Open RAN in four markets

October 6, 2021

On September 15, two technological giants signed an agreement to promote Open Radio Access Network (Open Ran) technology. Do you want to know how this decision affects you? Continue with us to find out.

Open Ran: The new challenge of Telefónica and NEC

Telefónica and NEC have reached an agreement to carry out Open RAN tests with a precommercial character. The same will take place in: Germany, Spain, the United Kingdom and Brazil, as they constitute the main global markets of the Spanish teleoperator.

The Open RAN network architecture allows users to connect to mobile networks through radio waves. For this, he uses hardware, software and open interfaces in order to promote interoperability. This new model enhances competition, innovation and flexibility.

This collaboration will be led by the Open Ran Global Excellence Center (COE) that NEC has in RU, from where the ecosystem integrated by multiple suppliers will be promoted. For its part, the Technology and Automation Laboratory of Telefónica in Madrid will validate various cases of use, such as energy optimization and RIC drives by AI.

Telefónica Bet Strong by Open Ran

Telefónica stands out for being one of the first telecommunications companies that has supported the implementation of open networks. In fact, he committed it alongside other European teleoperators, by signing the Open Ran Mou in January 2021.

Telefónica’s goal is to achieve an increase of 50% of O-RAN technology for 2025. To this end, Spanish tele-operator has been carrying out evidence in Germany and United Kingdom.

Already in January of this year, Telefónica Germany revealed its intention to streamline the implementation of Open RAN technology. Not in vain, it is expected that its implementation in the German country will reach a thousand mobile sites in 18 months. Not in vain, have already done tests in three areas of Landsberg am Lech (Bavaria).

Future tests will be carried out in companies of the Telefónica Group from its main global markets. The goal is to market the Open RAN in at least 800 places from 2022.

What role will NEC play in Telefónica’s strategy?

According to the terms of the agreement signed by both companies, the Japanese multinational will be responsible forintegrating the implementing systems of the O-RAN. With them all kinds of tests based on various providers will be carried out.

The technological infrastructure of this project will be possible thanks to an ecosystem of products manufactured by NEC. Likewise, software and hardware produced by strategic partners will also be used.

According to Shigeru Okuya (Senior Vice President of NEC), both his parent company and his subsidiary (Netcracker) can contribute a lot of experience and innovation to the ambitious project of Telefónica. In this sense, Enrique Blanco (Technology Director and Telefónica Information) praised the Customer-Centric perspective and the great technological competition from its Japanese partner.

In summary, the recent alliance signed between Telefónica and NEC establishes the basis to improve the implementation and development of Open RAN solutions. Thanks to this, soon we will be able to take full advantage of 5G mobile networks much more efficient, flexible and safe.

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