TELUS and Samsung Launch Canada’s First Virtualized 5G Network

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TELUS, in partnership with Samsung Electronics, has unveiled plans to initiate Canada’s inaugural commercial virtualized and open radio access network (RAN), marking a significant leap forward in the telecom industry. This next-generation network technology aims to elevate performance, flexibility, energy efficiency, and automation, setting a new standard for mobile connectivity across Canada.

This collaboration extends beyond their initial partnership, which began in June 2020 when TELUS appointed Samsung as its 5G network vendor. The move towards a virtualized Open RAN framework is a testament to the power of partnership, blending advanced technology with modular network design to revolutionize wireless connectivity. Notably, this deployment represents a pioneering step in integrating virtualized Open RAN within an existing, or “brownfield,” network infrastructure.

Open RAN technology allows TELUS to seamlessly incorporate components from various manufacturers, ensuring the delivery of top-tier services. By transitioning to a software-centric approach rather than relying on traditional hardware, TELUS can swiftly adopt emerging technologies, thereby enhancing the customer experience and spurring further innovation in the network sector.

Nazim Benhadid, TELUS’ Chief Technology Officer, expressed enthusiasm about the deployment, highlighting its potential to diversify and improve mobile services for Canadians. Similarly, Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President at Samsung, emphasized the ongoing nature of innovation in transforming telecommunications.

The transition to virtualized and Open RAN has been rigorously tested in select Canadian markets, demonstrating the reliability and efficiency of Samsung’s solutions in a commercial setting. A widespread network rollout is anticipated to commence in mid-2024, powered by Samsung’s cutting-edge vRAN software and Open RAN compliant solutions.

This strategic move is supported by collaborations with other industry leaders like Wind River and Hewlett Packard Enterprise, providing crucial cloud infrastructure and server technology to ensure the successful deployment and operation of the network. This venture not only showcases TELUS and Samsung’s commitment to innovation but also sets a new benchmark for the telecom industry’s future.

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