NEC successfully demonstrates Open RAN leadership in O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021

Tokyo – NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) announced today that it has successfully demonstrated its leading Open RAN massive MIMO capabilities for the O-RAN ALLIANCE Global PlugFest 2021 at five of its venues, hosted by leading operators and the new windowTelecom Infra Project (TIP). PlugFests are aimed at demonstrating the functionality as well as the multi-vendor interoperability of O-RAN-based network equipment, while serving as a testing ground for advanced O-RAN operators to gauge the maturity of Open RAN.

NEC is a leading Open RAN provider, recognized for its end-to-end Open 5G solutions and system integration capabilities. This year, NEC contributed as the first commercial provider of massive MIMO open Radio Units, resulting in NEC’s O-RU being integrated with O-CU, O-DU from Open RAN software vendors more than any other supplier. (* According to NEC research.)

NEC and its subsidiary Netcracker participated in multiple PlugFest venues across the globe this year, demonstrating their commercially proven, award winning Open RAN 5G massive MIMO radio units (O-RU), Open RAN Domain Orchestration solution (O-RAN SMO) and RAN software.

The companies participated in the following PlugFest venues:

Menlo Park, USA This venue was hosted at the TIP Community Lab in Menlo Park (sponsored by Meta). NEC deployed its O-RU with Mavenir's O-CU/DU for multi-vendor interoperability.

Torino, Italy Netcracker deployed its Open RAN Domain Orchestration solution, aligned with the O-RAN Service Management and Orchestration environment, at the Joint European O-RAN & TIP PlugFest venue hosted by European OTIC in TIM Innovation Lab – Torino. 5G RAN slice provisioning was validated using CU/DUs from Radisys based on the O1 interface.

Tokyo, Japan Hosted by NTT DOCOMO, the operator and NEC succeeded in interoperability testing for 5G standalone (SA) built on 5G CU/DU and multi-vendor radio units (RUs). DOCOMO and NEC demonstrated the capability to migrate from a commercial 5G NSA into 5G SA through a software upgrade, using the same 5G CU/DU hardware.

NEC also deployed its O-RUs in a lab hosted by Rakuten Mobile and successfully completed verification of open fronthaul interfaces and 3GPP RF conformance using Keysight Technologies' test solution.

Seoul, South Korea NEC contributed to the PlugFest venue hosted by LG UPlus in its 5G Innovation Lab in the LG Science Park, Seoul. NEC deployed O-RU in LG UPlus's lab with O-CU/DU from Altiostar, a Rakuten Symphony company, fronthaul gateway from DZS and Intel processors and FlexRAN™ reference software. 'E2E Open RAN on 5G standalone mode' was demonstrated using Keysight Technologies' test solution.

  • “The evolution of mobile networks to 5G standalone represents an opportunity for radio access networks to embrace an open and cloud-native architecture. The results of this year's O-RAN Global PlugFest with NEC and other partners validates the importance of software and radio solutions based on O-RAN specifications to drive the industry forward."
  • Anil Sawkar, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at Altiostar, a Rakuten Symphony company

  • “The Open vRAN eco-system and roadmap continue to expand now, including massive MIMO capabilities, enabling CSPs to make efficient use of their 5G spectrum. Mavenir is pleased to have participated with NEC at the O-RAN Global PlugFest 2021, to showcase best-in-class and industry leading 5G Open vRAN capabilities. We are actively working with NEC to deploy these products in multiple service provider markets globally in the first half of 2022."

  • Puneet Sethi, SVP, GM, RAN Business Unit, Mavenir

  • “Multi-vendor, high performance Open RAN is crucial to demonstrate market maturity. In 2021, the industry demonstrated great progress, and we are proud to have the first and only massive MIMO O-RAN product, making NEC the world's leader. We will continue working closely with customers and market-leading partners to deliver a vibrant ecosystem of open, high quality and high performance networks."

  • Patrick Lopez, Global VP of Product Management for 5G Products, NEC
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