1&1 claims launch of the first European Open RAN network

German greenfield MNO 1&1 has launched its new mobile network, which is based on Open RAN technology and makes a virtue of being Huawei-free.

Scott Bicheno

January 3, 2023

2 Min Read
now open sign neon

German greenfield MNO 1&1 has launched its new mobile network, which is based on Open RAN technology and makes a virtue of being Huawei-free.

Following in the footsteps of Rakuten in Japan and Dish in the US, 1&1 took advantage of the opportunity presented by building a mobile network from scratch to go all in with Open RAN. Rakuten itself was announced as a major partner for the project in the middle of 2021 and, unsurprisingly, Altiostar software is part of the resulting mix. The Japanese theme continues with the use of NEC antennas, which 1&1 is keen to stress makes it ‘the only mobile network operator in Germany that does not utilise Huawei antennas.’

“The commissioning of our Open RAN network underscores our position as pioneers who now provide evidence in Germany that the world’s most modern network technology is fully functional”, said Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of 1&1. “Despite delays in recent months, we still want to meet our obligation to cover 50 percent of all households by the end of 2030 ahead of schedule. We expect to achieve this goal by commissioning about 12,600 radio masts and more than 500 regional data centres.”

Presumably Dommermuth means the Vantage issue when referring to delays and you have to wonder why he considered it worth flagging up. Perhaps things aren’t going entirely according to plan in general and he wanted to get some buck-passing done while he had the opportunity. Right now, the announcement refers only to three antenna sites and the construction of another 50 radio masts, but it expects to hit its first interim target of 1,000 radio masts at some stage this year.

The other named suppliers are: servers from Dell and Supermicro, routers from Cisco, software from Mavenir and antennas from CCI. On the whole, that does seem to live up to the Open RAN promise of opening up the RAN to more vendors but, if 1&1 has the same profile across all its sites, you have to wonder how much better off it is than if it had just used one vendor for everything.


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About the Author(s)

Scott Bicheno

As the Editorial Director of Telecoms.com, Scott oversees all editorial activity on the site and also manages the Telecoms.com Intelligence arm, which focuses on analysis and bespoke content.
Scott has been covering the mobile phone and broader technology industries for over ten years. Prior to Telecoms.com Scott was the primary smartphone specialist at industry analyst Strategy Analytics’. Before that Scott was a technology journalist, covering the PC and telecoms sectors from a business perspective.
Follow him @scottbicheno

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