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Speaking with TelecomTV during the 5G World event in London, Orange announced a major breakthrough in interoperability for the open RAN. Arnaud Vamparys, SVP of Radio Networks and 5G champion for Orange, revealed exclusively to TelecomTV that the O-RAN Alliance – of which it is a founding partner – has successfully completed an implementation test of the X2 interface between equipment from Nokia and Ericsson. X2 is the interconnecting interface between two eNodeBs in an LTE network.
Put simply, this means a mobile network operator can add 5G capability to its existing network of 4G base stations, to speed up deployment and improve efficiencies. But it also means that an MNO is not locked into its 4G vendor partner for its 5G upgrade – it will be able to select a different vendor for 5G radio with the assurance that the different equipment will interoperate.
This is part of the O-RAN Alliance’s work to create a new stack reference design that will provide fully operable (and 3GPP compatible) multi-vendor profile specifications for a range of essential interfaces, including the X2. The Alliance currently has six technical workgroups focused on specific areas of the RAN and are open to all members and contributors.
Orange co-founded the Alliance in February 2018 with AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom and NTT Docomo, and the group now comprises 19 CSP members and (at last count) 67 contributing industry members. They want to support an ecosystem of innovative new network solutions that together will create a multi-vendor, interoperable, autonomous RAN for 5G and beyond. Membership information is available here.
- Arnaud Vamparys, SVP Radio Networks, Orange
Filmed at: 5G World, London, June 2019
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