MTN Group has said it is set to deploy OpenRAN by the end of 2021 in collaboration with Altiostar, Mavenir, Parallel Wireless, TechMahindra and Voyage.
The company is planning to leverage its extensive footprint in Africa to test and ultimately deploy OpenRAN, according to a statement on its website.
MTN Group Chief Technology and Information Officer, Charles Molapisi, said “At MTN we are alive to the potential of open interfaces. There is a lot of value that dominant players bring to the business, but telecommunications today is as much about the stability of the network as it is about new services.
“Customers measure us against the speed with which we can deploy the latest technology and we are committed to finding faster and better ways to do that.”
According to the company, OpenRAN is an innovative technology that will allow the company to launch new services more quickly, cost-effectively and seamlessly.
“Early adoption gives us the ability to improve and deploy appropriate network architecture underpinned by technology, both tried and tested, and disruptive, to ensure we continue to deliver an exceptional experience, and ultimately play our part in harnessing the power of technology to lead digital solutions for Africa’s progress,” Molapisi added.
The RAN is the final link between the network and the phone; it is the visible piece and includes the antennae seen on towers, on top of buildings or in stadiums, plus base stations, while OpenRAN allows for the “opening” of these protocols and interfaces between these various building blocks in the RAN.
According to MTN Group, OpenRAN will allow it to diversify its vendor landscape, disrupt cost flow, and remove dependency on proprietary suppliers.
The company also added that it will help save cost and improve flexibility as it shifts to the use of generic hardware and open interfaces.
MTN Group Executive, Network Planning and Design, Amith Maharaj, said, “While OpenRAN brings a new architecture to mobile networks and more suppliers to deal with, it gives telcos much-needed flexibility.
“This means that MTN can now look at building a network that can meet cost and capacity requirements of specific markets, or even rapidly deploy 5G and/or 4G seamlessly with existing legacy services. This is a real game-changer for mobile advancement in emerging markets.”
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