VMO2 switches on first live Open RAN sites

31 Aug 2022

Virgin Media O2 (VMO2), NEC Corporation and Rakuten Symphony have announced their joint multi-vendor Open RAN deployment is entering the field phase, commencing with the activation of the first live sites in VMO2’s commercial network. In a press regarding the development, the companies claimed this successful multi-vendor Open RAN system deployment on macro-sites in the UK was ‘notable for being in a brownfield network and baselined on the existing Telco Cloud supply chain to maximise future synergies’.

Following a successful Open RAN lab trial on Virgin Media O2’s network with NEC, Rakuten Symphony and ecosystem partners last year, the field deployment – which is in Northamptonshire – is now reported to be operational and capable of handling commercial traffic. According to the companies involved, NEC’s system integration capabilities and fully open end-to-end solution, combined with Rakuten Symphony’s Open RAN software, edge cloud, and radio management and operations system, ensured the activation of the UK macro-sites while delivering vendor diversity and innovation.

Commenting, VMO2’s chief technology officer, Jeanie York, said: ‘The successful activation of Virgin Media O2’s first UK macro-sites demonstrates the potential of the multi-vendor Open RAN model. We are strong believers in the power of diverse Open RAN ecosystems and in NEC, we have a partner that really shares our view. Its industry-leading system integration capabilities are integral in helping us deliver the mobile networks of the future, today.’

United Kingdom, NEC, O2 UK, Rakuten Symphony, Virgin Media O2 (VMO2)