Home5G & BeyondTelefónica validates its Open RAN all-in-one 5G Standalone small cell

    Telefónica validates its Open RAN all-in-one 5G Standalone small cell


    The operator says it carried out a successful demo with Node-H and Askey in its own lab.

    Telefónica says it has validated its new Open RAN all-in-one 5G Standalone small cell. The demonstration was carried out by Node-H and Askey in Telefonica’s Technology & Automation Lab.

    The operator describes it as “a step forward to deliver highly performant, open, flexible, secure and reliable 5G services with small cells. With this ORAN-compliant solution [Telefónica’s target is] to increase the small cell ecosystem by delivering an innovative product that enables a wide range of use cases for different vertical markets”.

    Macro or private option

    The small cell is a complete 5G base station that can be connected either directly to Telefónica’s macro network or to a local private 5G core. It was developed by Askey, powered the Qualcomm FSM100 5G RAN Platform, which is “a high performance and low power solution for small cells, and with Node-H’s scalable radio access, security, and management software,” according to the operator.

    The modular architecture of the small cell logically separates the CU, DU and RU (central, distributed and radio units) functionalities following open and standard interfaces for greater flexibility.

    With this approach, Telefónica says it expands its Open RAN portfolio and is one step closer to deploying tailored and highly-performant 5G open networks across a wide range of deployment models and sizes ranging from just a handful of cells to large campus networks.

    Telefónica is confident that enlarging the 5G standalone small cell ecosystem contributes to enabling the full potential of 5G technology, such as the huge data capacity and short latency times that are designed into 5G networks, adding capabilities to already existing use cases and exploiting new opportunities.

    “Together with our technology partners, we are expanding the 5G SA ecosystem, helping our customers on their digital transformation process, driving innovation across different scenarios”, says José Luis Esplá, Access and Devices Director in Telefónica GCTIO. “With Telefónica’s open interfaces approach we are transforming the way connectivity and services are provided, with high flexibility and simplicity while ensuring the highest performance and efficiency.“

    “The business case for 5G private networks has received a huge boost through advances in the regulatory framework”, said Mike Cronin, CEO of Node-H. “This has the potential to unleash a large amount of private investment in a technology which merits that expenditure, bringing true 5G performance to those who can benefit from it.”

    Telefónica trailblazing

    In a press and analyst briefing on Valentine’s Day, Rakuten Symphony announced its move into Europe and Rakuten Mobile’s CTO, Tareq Amin, highlighted the pioneering role that Telefónica is playing in Open RAN, saying, “I am really, really super optimistic that Telefonica could be the breakthrough that everybody is looking for”.

    Telefónica has worked closely with Rakuten Mobile on its Rakuten Communications Platform and Rakuten Symphony, which was set up to sell Rakuten’s tech and know-how to other operators using a platform-based model. Rakuten Mobile in Japan runs on the world’s first native fully virtualised infrastructure.