Etisalat of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) says it has become the first operator in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region to launch an open virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN). The network uses products from a number of suppliers, including Altiostar, NEC and Cisco. The telco says its adoption of Open vRAN will accelerate the delivery of mobile networks, using commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware from third parties to transform the hardware network to a software-based one.
Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President for Mobile Networks at Etisalat, said: ‘Deploying the Open vRAN is vital in enabling digital transformation aimed at increasing efficiencies and the utilisation of AI … Etisalat now plans to roll out Open vRAN across the UAE to take full advantage of all the benefits that this new technology offers.’
Separately, Etisalat has announced the launch of a cloud-based business unified communication and collaboration service for small and medium businesses (SMB) and enterprise customers in the UAE. The telco has partnered with Ribbon Communications to provide customers with what it says is ‘a secure, scalable, and cloud-native business communication and collaboration solution’. Etisalat’s CloudTalk offers customers ‘an integrated communication solution for their internal and external communication and collaboration needs’.