Batelco Joins 6 Middle East Operators in An Open RAN MoU

Batelco signed an Open RAN (Radio Access Network) MoU, aiming to increase momentum for the technology and its solutions in the region and other leading Middle East Operators. 

As such, the other signatories to the MoU are Etisalat Group, Saudi Telecom Company STC, Zain Group, Mobily, du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), and Omantel. 

In a press release, the company said, “As part of the agreement, the first Open RAN centralized test lab was established in the Middle East, with the support of TIP (Telecom Infra Project) and Intel.  

The lab will also offer a powerful platform for the signatories to work together to achieve their common goal of deploying unified technologies into their networks. This is done by helping meet the growing demand for high bandwidth and advanced connectivity that can deliver the best online experience to businesses and consumers.” 

In addition, the MoU between the seven operators serves to confirm their joint commitment to deploy open RAN across their locations, offering an opportunity for traditional RAN vendors to adopt available software, interfaces, and hardware. That will support more agile and flexible mobile networks in the 4G and 5G era. 

The introduction of open RAN, automation, and virtualization will allow a significant change in the way operators manage networks and deliver services. 

On that same note, Batelco pointed out that the operators are planning to set a straightforward way to drive innovation for the ICT sector in the Middle East through sharing industry knowledge and experience while driving cost efficiencies and customer mobile experience. 

The lab will offer shared facilities and access to the most innovative Intel technologies for members vendors and catalyze OpenRAN deployments. 

“This collaboration on OpenRAN is a huge step for the telecommunications ecosystem in the Middle East,” Batelco General Manager Networks, Rashid Mohamed, said. 

This process will create a more competitive supply chain, leading to network efficiencies, faster 5G deployment, opportunities for new technology vendors, and unlock advanced services for customers. 

“The regional collaborations regarding Open RAN development like this Middle East MoU and The European MoU, which is an agreement signed by five European telcos, Orange, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, TIM and Vodafone, with similar aims. They are key to drive the success of the technology and realize its full potential,” Rashid added.