Telefónica deploys Open RAN in Argentina with IBM

  • Telefónica Argentina (Movistar) deploys Open RAN-based network 
  • Network covers 81,000 inhabitants in city of Puerto Madryn
  • IBM acted as systems integrator for the deployment
  • Technology sourced from Altiostar, Red Hat, Quanta, Gigatera and Kontron

Telefónica, one of the more bullish of the operators advocating disaggregated network architectures, has deployed an Open RAN proof-of-concept network covering 81,0000 inhabitants in the city of Puerto Madryn in Argentina.

IBM acted as the systems integrator for the deployment, bringing together various technology elements from Altiostar, Red Hat (owned by IBM), Quanta, Gigatera and Kontron. 

“We are experiencing the future of mobile networks with Open RAN technology. For Movistar, it is essential to evolve the network architecture towards an open Telco Cloud model based on an open ecosystem of providers, which allows generating a solid base to develop, in the future, the deployment of 5G and, at the same time, incorporate innovative services hand in hand with small companies that can use the greater accessibility of open technology,” stated Adrian Di Meo, Movistar’s Technology Director.

“IBM’s cloud technology and best-in-class system integration capabilities align to the choice and flexibility needs of the industry as mobile operators embrace Open RAN,” said Roberto Alexander, General Manager at IBM Argentina. “IBM has helped Movistar implement a world-class, open, scalable and secure solution, to further speed how it captures the enormous market value of Open RAN, not only in Argentina, but ultimately across the entire region in the future.”

Telefónica, one of the signatories to The Implementation of Open RAN Based Networks In Europe Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), plans to deploy Open RAN architectures in multiple markets across Europe and Latin America in the coming years. 

The CTIO of the giant operator, Enrique Blanco, recently told TelecomTV during his DSP Leaders World Forum interview that Telefónica has been “working for the past few years or so building a credible Open RAN program… We are extremely close with the final solution. Telefonica will be deploying Open RAN as a new vendor ecosystem. In the period of 2022 to 2025, up to 50% of the total 5G deployment capabilities will be done using this technology, at least.”

To find out what Blanco had to say about Open RAN and many other industry trends, watch our video interview, Telefónica CTIO Enrique Blanco on the potential of an open ecosystem.

For IBM, its involvement clearly marks its intention to play a significant role as a key partner to network operators wanting to deploy Open RAN networks and have a third-party company take on the integration work.

And it’s clear IBM is keen to work with Telefónica in other Open RAN projects, as it recently opened an Open RAN Center of Excellence in Spain, where it intends to employ more than 500 staff during the next three years, including cloud developers, RF design engineers, MIMO engineers and Open RAN delivery engineers. Altiostar and Juniper have already signed up to contribute their technology to the facility. 

To keep up with the key developments in Open RAN, check out the TelecomTV Channel devoted to the topic.

- Ray Le Maistre, Editorial Director, TelecomTV

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