Bharti Airtel (Airtel), India’s communications solutions provider, announced to have conducted India’s first Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) based live 5G network validation in partnership with Mavenir, the Network Software Provider building the future of networks with cloud-native software that runs on any cloud and transforms the way the world connects.
What is Open RAN?
The Mavenir Open Virtualised Radio Access Network (Open vRAN) is based on off-the-shelf hardware, and 3500MHz Radio employing open interfaces as defined by O-RAN Alliance. Open vRAN brings network elasticity, eliminates vendor lock-in and enables Airtel to leverage virtualization, and web-scale containerization to support an ‘any cloud’ deployment scenario.
The Open RAN based 5G validation has been conducted in Chandigarh and Mohali, over the 3500 MHz band test spectrum allotted to Airtel by the Department of Telecom, Government of India. Speeds of over 1 Gbps were validated with the equipment deployed and configured in Non-Standalone (NSA) mode and using commercially available 5G mobile devices.
What are the stakeholder executive thoughts?
Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel said, “This is a major milestone for the Open RAN ecosystem, and another validation of the growing readiness of 5G networks based on open architecture. Airtel is delighted to spearhead the innovation efforts of O-RAN Alliance in India.”
“We look forward to deepening our technology partnership with Mavenir and collaborate to accelerate the deployment of these radio access networks,” Sekhon further commented.
BG Kumar, President Communication Services, Mavenir, said, “We are excited to partner with Airtel on 5G Open RAN. This deal with Airtel has given impetus to Open RAN ecosystem towards faster deployment. Mavenir is committed to the India market with its continued investments towards development of cutting-edge tech at R&D centers across India.”
Airtel has been a Board member since the beginning of O-RAN Alliance, which associates a world-wide community of over 300 telecom operators, vendors and research and academic institutions working in a transparent way to develop a sustainable Open RAN ecosystem.
Airtel was the first operator in India to commercially deploy an open virtual RAN solution based on disaggregated and open architecture defined by the O-RAN Alliance.
It is committed to furthering open RAN solutions by supporting a number of disruptive and innovative partners, helping them develop solutions capable of addressing the scale and complexity of its network and that of other established operators around the world.