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Telefónica and NEC Corporation announced an agreement to undertake pre-commercial Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) tests in Telefonica’s four key worldwide markets: Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brazil. This is a step toward Telefonica’s goal of achieving a 50% expansion of their current radio network based on Open RAN by 2025.   According to a joint press release, Telefonica will perform open RAN trials in Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom and Brazil, with the objective of offering commercial alternatives to at least 800 locations across the four countries beginning in 2022. Under the terms of the agreement, NEC will serve as the primary system integrator for the implementation and testing of multi-vendor Open RAN solutions with the Telefonica group’s operational businesses.   Telefónica and NEC will also cooperate with the newly formed Telefónica Technology and Automation Lab in Madrid to validate and implement cutting-edge Open RAN technologies and…

Two Japanese companies, Rakuten Mobile and NEC Corporation, have announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote Open RAN in mobile telecommunications markets worldwide. The MoU is based on Rakuten’s current partnership with NEC, where NEC supplies 5G radio equipment to the operator. The pair is also jointly working on developing a Rakuten standalone 5G core.   Under the Memorandum of Understanding, Rakuten Mobile and NEC will continue to expand their local collaboration to provide 5G and 4G radios and engineering services for Open RAN systems that are compliant with O-RAN specifications. These services will be applicable to  markets worldwide and will boost the global development of the Rakuten Communications Platform (RCP). RCP is Rakuten Mobile’s fully virtualized and containerized cloud-based mobile network platform, enabling telecom businesses to station virtual networks rapidly and inexpensively.   Tareq Amin, executive vice president and CTO at Rakuten Mobile, said: “Rakuten…

IBM and Telefónica Argentina (Movistar) have announced a live, fully operational Open RAN network that will act as a proof of concept (PoC) for the delivery of commercial mobile services to the city of Puerto Madryn, Argentina, covering 81,000 urban residents. The launch allows for the testing of live, commercial traffic and provides an early proof point for the technology as it continues to develop.   IBM has led the system integration process, assembling components and systems from a number of software and hardware vendors, including Altiostar, Red Hat, Quanta, Gigatera and Kontron, from pre-integration all the way through to full deployment.   Open RAN is a state-of-the-art radio access network technology that enables interoperability for transforming a radio network into an open cloud environment in which multiple vendors can participate to create a better and more efficient service network. When using Open RAN, operators can combine hardware and software…

Charting the future of mobile networks, the advent of Open vRAN technology, equipped with software-defined systems on standard hardware, delivers on the ambitious goals of 5G while retaining unmatched energy efficiency. Pushing these advancements further, QCT and Intel have introduced cutting-edge servers integrating Intel’s pioneering FlexRAN architecture. This merger of CPU computing power with an accelerated system, transforming standard network structures and allowing innovative software integrations, is the driving force behind the striking efficiency improvements within mobile networks.

Vodafone has made a move that could put an end to the global dominance of the three main telecom equipment providers – Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia – by starting trials on open access radio technology in the UK. The company is the first wireless carrier to run European tests of Open Radio Access Networks (OpenRAN), a cellular infrastructure technology that may increase the number of companies supplying telecom network equipment and assist in connecting more of the world’s most remote communities using lower cost systems. In a statement, Vodafone said that “the global supply of telecom network equipment has become concentrated in a small handful of companies over the past few years” and added that a wider choice of suppliers will increase flexibility and innovation, thus helping to address some of the cost challenges of internet services in rural communities. Telecom operators use RAN infrastructure, masts and antennae…

Global engineering and R&D services company Altran Technologies, SA, mainly operating in the fields of high technology and innovation consultancy, has announced a new advanced networking center in the United States to support customers seeking to accelerate their 5G transition and virtualization deployments. The opening of the company’s new office in Manhattan will involve the hiring of additional experts in the field of 5G and related technologies, as well as the development of new software platforms that will help deliver leading-edge products and services. Pascal Brier, Executive Vice President of Strategy, Technology and Innovation at Altran, said, “The rollout of 5G is a game changer requiring robust, cost-effective software frameworks and platforms to power the next generation of wireless solutions for IoT, mixed-reality and autonomous vehicle applications. Altran is uniquely positioned to provide the necessary consulting and integration services, and this investment will ensure we remain at the absolute…

Breaking new ground in the European telecoms sector, France’s Orange and Spain’s MásMóvil have won European Commission approval for their joint venture with a proviso. A stipulation of the deal instances Romania’s Digi – Spain’s largest MVNO – to acquire spectrum from MásMóvil. With this move, Digi could transform into the fourth mobile operator for the Spanish market.

Diving into the digital frontier, the Sustainable and Interoperable Digital Identity (SIDI) Hub, an alliance of 17 open-standard organizations, is striving to create cross-border digital identities. Through harnessing insights from significant bodies such as the OECD and World Bank, they aim to establish a minimum set of interoperability requirements. However, recognizing the diverse perspectives globally, they also highlight the need for taking into account the unique social, cultural, and legal contexts of each nation.

Recognizing the growing demand for mid-band spectrum, the International Telecom Union (ITU) appends new frequency bands for 5G usage. A significant addition was the 6GHZ spectrum, which is anticipated to facilitate the 5G evolution. Multiple global operators have conducted successful tests, making strides toward a seamless shift to 5G-Advanced. This advancement not only opens a myriad of industry opportunities but also promises an improved user experience potentially comparable to the fiber experience.