Samsung and O2 Telefónica Launch vRAN and Open RAN Network in Germany

Samsung Electronics and O2 Telefónica today announced that the companies have launched their first virtualized RAN (vRAN) and Open RAN commercial site in Germany. It is the first time that Samsung’s 5G vRAN solution is being used in a commercial network in Germany. The site is now operating in Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, providing high-performance and reliable 4G and 5G services to customers. In the coming months, the companies will expand the vRAN and Open RAN network to seven additional sites in the region, aiming to further extend the Open RAN footprint.

This milestone builds on the companies’ joint initiative, announced in October 2023, where they agreed to develop a roadmap for several tests of vRAN and Open RAN technologies. Following the extensive trials, O2 Telefónica and Samsung are now progressing from lab to field with the launch of this first commercial site.

“We are taking another big step in our Open RAN journey. Together with Samsung, we are utilizing the latest Open RAN technologies in our mobile network. On the way to the network of the future, we are integrating new network solutions to provide our customers with outstanding connectivity. Open RAN is a building block that can help us to automate our network, deploy new updates faster and use network components more flexibly,” said Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of O2 Telefónica.

“Samsung is setting new standards for excellence in the telecommunications industry with our innovative vRAN and Open RAN capabilities. Celebrating Telefónica’s 100th anniversary, we are proud to be the key partner for O2 Telefónica on their trailblazing journey to usher in a new era of connectivity in Germany,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics.

Open RAN and vRAN: Bringing Greater Flexibility and Automation

O2 Telefónica is building an even more efficient and future-proof network leveraging modern and advanced RAN technologies, open interfaces and automation capabilities. Open RAN enables greater flexibility in the mobile network. Based on open interfaces, operators can combine network components from different providers and integrate them into their network.

Software-centric vRAN helps the adoption of cloud-native architecture, allowing network operators to better automate functions, introduce new technologies and services to their networks quickly and efficiently. This is important for accelerating network buildouts and adopting new 5G applications, including use cases that require low response speeds, such as virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR) or latency-critical applications for enterprises.

Samsung’s Advanced and Proven Network Solutions

The companies have successfully switched on this first commercial site just three months after the initial shipment of 4G and 5G solutions, leveraging Samsung’s expertise and pre-validated ecosystem proven from large-scale commercial vRAN and Open RAN deployments across the globe.

For the initial deployments, Samsung’s offering includes its market-leading 4G and 5G vRAN 3.0 solution and O-RAN compliant radios supporting low- and mid-bands (700MHz, 800MHz, 1.8GHz 2.1GHz, 2.6GHz and 3.6GHz), including 64T64R Massive MIMO radios. Samsung’s advanced vRAN 3.0 features enhanced capabilities for improved energy efficiency, optimized performance and intelligent automation.

As the next step, the companies will introduce Samsung’s intelligent network automation solutions to control life cycle management — from deployment and operation to maintenance. This O-RAN compliant automation solution offers the ability to accelerate innovative software-based network rollouts by enabling automated deployment of thousands of network sites simultaneously.

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