Dutch-based United Group has partnered with US-based Parallel Wireless to trial Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) technology on the Vivacom network in Bulgaria. Vivacom, a leading Mobile Network Operator (MNO) in the country, operates in eight other locations within the United Group’s network, which collectively serves over 15 million users and employs nearly 15,000 people.
The trial in Bulgaria combines lab testing with field testing on Vivacom’s existing network. The objective is to demonstrate the successful implementation of ORAN across diverse environments, including urban and rural areas. The trial aims to prove that ORAN can deliver equivalent or improved performance when compared to traditional Single Radio Access Networks (SRAN) for 2G, 4G, and 5G technologies.
Vivacom’s CEO, Nikolay Andreev, noted that ORAN presents opportunities for greater vendor diversity and much-needed innovation in the mobile radio network sector. “This technology will provide flexibility and competitiveness for operators and improved services for customers. We hope this trial will be the first step in delivering ORAN technology to Bulgaria,” Andreev stated.
Steve Papa, Founder & CEO of Parallel Wireless, highlighted that Bulgaria is an ideal location to showcase the benefits of ORAN. He explained that ORAN’s flexibility and agility allow United Group and Vivacom to freely choose their vendors, without being locked into a specific provider.