IBM leading system integration for Telefónica Open RAN proof of concept

Telefónica brand Movistar using Open RAN in Puerto Madryn, Argentina

One of the persistent questions related to Open RAN is whether the shift from integrated radio stacks to multi-vendor Open RAN kit presents a trade off between lower capex with increased system integration costs. With a number of global operators embracing Open RAN, the system integration question is front-and-center in global testing activity.

In the latest, Telefónica brand Movistar is using an Open RAN network in Puerto Madryn, Argentina, to test the evolving tech on a live network. For this deployment, IBM is serving as the lead system integrator. On the vendor side, Altiostar and Red Hat are providing software running on hardware from Quanta, Gigatera and Kontron.

IBM’s Steve Canepa, global GM and managing director of the Communications Sector, wrote in a blog: “What’s really important about this implementation is that it demonstrates the telco industry’s trust in IBM’s deep experience as a systems integrator, as well as our proven tools and processes, to enable leading mobile operators to embrace emerging Open RAN technology. The PoC also serves as an additional proof point for the maturity of Altiostar’s Open RAN software and further strengthens their position as an IBM Cloud for Telecommunications ecosystem partner in the Open RAN domain.”

European operators Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, and Vodafone are joining forces to support the rollout of Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) in future mobile networks across Europe.

The four carriers signed a memorandum of understanding in which they have expressed their individual commitment to the implementation and deployment of Open RAN solutions.

In January, Telefónica, alongside Deutsche Telekom, Orange, and Vodafone joined forces to support the rollout of Open RAN across their network footprints. The four carriers signed a memorandum of understanding in which they have expressed their individual commitment to the implementation and deployment of Open RAN solutions.

In  a statement, the operators said they will also work together with existing and new ecosystem partners, industry bodies like the O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP), as well as European policy makers, to ensure Open RAN quickly reaches competitive parity with traditional RAN solutions.

In addition to its work in Argentina, last month IBM announced it was opening a new Open RAN Center of Excellence in Madrid with plans to hire more than 500 Open RAN professionals over the next three years.

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