BT has been working on Open RAN although it didn’t join the Open RAN fan club with Orange, Telefonica, TIM and Vodafone
BT said it has “underlined its ongoing commitment to the development and deployment of Open RAN technology”, announcing details of a trial with Nokia.
The trial is to take place in the city of Hull in the north-east of England (pictured). The operator will install Nokia’s RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) for Open RAN, across a number of sites, to optimise network performance for customers on its mobile network, EE.
Getting a shift on
Despite keeping a relatively low profile on Open RAN, in contrast to five of its mainland Europe counterparts, it said it is interested in “sustained investment in all technologies that deliver the best possible customer experience, including using open architecture wherever network performance can be enhanced”.
BT said it will develop Open RAN its vendor partners “to ensure it becomes a viable, mature, scale option for network optimisation as soon as possible”.
In addition to the Hull trial, the operator will open a dedicated Open RAN Innovation Centre at its Adastral Park facility, close to the city of Ipswich in East Anglia later this year.
The idea is to provide opportunities for large and small vendors to develop and prove their equipment and provide a platform for open architecture progress across all network elements.
All about CX
Neil McRae, Chief Architect, BT, commented, “Our Open RAN trial with Nokia is one of many investments we are making to boost the performance of our market-leading 4G and 5G EE network and deliver an even better service to our customers.
“Our high performance, high efficiency radio access equipment, provided by the major global vendors, has enabled us to roll-out 4G and now 5G at scale, with the confidence that our customers will get the best network experience possible.”