O2, NEC complete OpenRAN trial


British O2 telecoms and Japanese NEC announced on Monday a successful OpenRAN trial conducted on O2’s network with NEC and its ecosystem of partners.

According to a joint statement, NEC helped to define a customized OpenRAN architecture, optimized, and adapted to the requirements of the O2 mobile network. NEC coordinated the overall design of the system, which delivered a solid end-to-end solution and was conducted in collaboration with the industry leaders.

“The partnership between NEC and O2 promises to accelerate the provision and growth of OpenRAN solutions in the UK. O2 will continue to transform our network through collaboration and the optimisation of new technologies such as OpenRAN,” Derek McManus, COO of O2 said in the statement.

NEC’s ecosystem of partners includes virtualized RAN software from Altiostar and hardware from GigaTera Communications and Supermicro among others.

NEC’s role includes end-to-end testing and interoperability verification by leveraging its recently established Center of Excellence in the UK, which is where the trial with O2 was conducted, running via O2’s core network.

“We are extremely excited to be driving this journey on the home ground of our OpenRAN Center of Excellence in the UK. Through close collaboration with O2, we are honoured to contribute to the diversification and innovation of network transformation,” Mayuko Tatewaki, General Manager, Service Provider Solutions Division, NEC Corporation said in the statement.

The trial builds on O2’s progress in developing OpenRAN technologies over the past 12 months.

Back in January 2020, O2 – a subsidiary of Spanish Telefónica – announced a range of OpenRAN projects to help its customers better utilize its network, and its parent company playing an active role in OpenRAN networks.

Telefonica announced earlier last year its intention to launch 4G and 5G OpenRAN trials in Germany, Spain, and Brazil, as well as building on early success in the UK. The announcement comes as a follow up to Rakuten’s OpenRan lead.