Kit vendor Ericsson has released a salvo of Open Ran and Cloud RAN related announcements in quick succession, one involving a collaboration with Spanish operator Telefónica.

Andrew Wooden

September 26, 2023

3 Min Read
Digital data network connection cloud computing and global communication. 5g high speed connection data analysis. Technology

Swedish kit vendor Ericsson has released a salvo of Open RAN and Cloud RAN related announcements in quick succession, one involving a collaboration with Spanish operator Telefónica.

First up, Ericsson and Telefónica have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to ‘accelerate the adoption towards an increasingly open network built upon Ericsson’s Cloud RAN architecture’ – which seems to mean a series of joint Cloud RAN trial deployments in Europe.

The firms will also explore how to deploy Cloud RAN sites using lots of automation, including leveraging rApps in RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and service management and orchestration (SMO) architecture to enhance radio access network (RAN) solutions.

Ericsson Cloud RAN offers opportunities for operators to build macro networks as well as expand into enterprise applications, claims the release.

“We are excited to join forces with Ericsson,” said Enrique Blanco, Telefónica Global CTIO. “This collaboration brings together the best of both organizations, enabling us to leverage the latest advancements in virtualization and cloud technologies. The network’s transition to software-based operations and the evolution to open and disaggregated network architectures will increase flexibility, enable new network architectures and models, and boost innovation.”

Fredrik Jejdling, Executive Vice President and Head of Networks, Ericsson added: “This collaboration with Telefónica aims to accelerate the development and deployment of cloud-native open networks. This will enable an open ecosystem of innovation and the way we think about the value of networks, by exposing new capabilities through standardized APIs. The latest development in O-RAN Alliance allows us to build high performance networks on Open RAN standards, at scale.”

Ericsson’s other announcement is in the same ball park. Boasting that it has deployed over one million radios that are hardware-ready for ‘the next generation of open fronthaul technology’ and that with the new radio platforms released this year, it has ‘a complete Open RAN-ready offering across its Massive MIMO and remote radio portfolios’, the kit vendor said that as of next year it will introduce support for open fronthaul across its Cloud RAN and radio portfolios.

Jejdling is also quoted here explaining why that’s a big deal: “We believe that the biggest revolution in future mobile networks is the introduction of cloud-based open networks, which will enable a move towards fully programmable mobile networks. We are enabling an open and growing ecosystem of innovation together with our customers and partners. Today we bring more details to our previously announced transition to the introduction of Open RAN support across our portfolio.”

The sentiment may be the more relevant than the slightly woolly technical proclamations – Ericsson is clearly keen to be seen as being energetic in the Open RAN and Cloud RAN sectors, and this tallies with some other recent announcements as well, certainly with regards to the latter technology.

Last week it announced it is helping to bring some hyperscale benefits to telco cloud with a version of its Cloud RAN solution that works on Google Distributed Cloud (GDC). Ericsson and Google apparently successfully demonstrated a full implementation of the Ericsson virtual distributed unit (vDU) and virtualised central unit (vCU) on GDC Edge at the Ericsson Open Lab in Ottawa, Canada.

In July it teamed up with operator O2 Telefónica to put together a proof of concept demonstrating Cloud RAN and mmWave technology. The firms claimed the demonstration, which took place at O2 Telefónica’s Wayra innovation hub in Munich, is Europe’s first Cloud RAN 5G mmWave use case demo.

And in June Ericsson laid claim to being the first vendor to carry out an end-to-end Cloud RAN call using the 4th Gen Intel Xeon Scalable processors with Intel vRAN Boost.


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About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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