O2 and NEC jointly conduct Open RAN trial

O2 (Telefonica UK) and NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) have announced a successful Open RAN trial on O2’s network with NEC and its ecosystem of partners that includes virtualised RAN software from Altiostar and hardware from GigaTera Communications and Supermicro among others.

NEC helped to define a customised Open RAN architecture, optimised and adapted to the requirements of the O2 mobile network. Given its role as the system integrator for this trial, NEC coordinated the overall design of the system, which delivered a solid end-to-end solution and was conducted in collaboration with the aforementioned industry leaders.

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.

The trial builds on O2’s progress in developing Open RAN technologies over the past 12 months. In January 2020, O2 announced a range of Open RAN projects to help its customers better utilise its network, and its parent company, Telefonica, is playing an active role in Open RAN networks. Telefonica announced earlier last year its intention to launch 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in Germany, Spain and Brazil, as well as building on early success in the UK.

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

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

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