O-RAN activity continues to ramp up. Now a group of Middle East operators has established the region’s first open RAN centralised test lab in collaboration with the industry group the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and technology company Intel.
This follows the signing of the Open Radio Access Network MoU last year. The move, it is claimed, will accelerate the implementation of open RAN solutions in the operators’ existing telecom networks in order to support the early adoption and development of a robust regional ICT ecosystem.
Two new operators, Batelco and Omantel, have also signed the Open RAN MoU, joining e& (formerly known as Etisalat Group), stc, Zain Group, Mobily and du in their commitment to deploy open RAN across their footprint.
The Middle East lab will provide a platform for the parties to jointly deploy open and disaggregated technologies into their networks to optimize the online experiences of businesses and consumers. The lab will provide shared facilities and access to Intel technologies for members and vendors, and act as a catalyst for open RAN deployments.
The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is a global community of companies and organizations working together to accelerate the development and deployment of open, disaggregated, and standards-based technology solutions that deliver high-quality connectivity.
It says that flexible, interoperable and standards-based solutions such as O-RAN present a compelling opportunity for operators to become more efficient in meeting the ever-growing need for high bandwidth, low latency, and advanced connectivity.
It adds that, through the TIP end-to-end process, operators become empowered to deploy more flexible and resilient networks optimized for specific use cases. By sharing industry knowledge to align and prioritise their technical requirements, TIP participants contribute to the creation of centralized technical roadmaps that will set the direction for the development of new network infrastructure products and solutions.
Operators can then leverage TIP’s test and validation process to quickly and easily assess those products and solutions that will best contribute to the transformation of their networks.