According to a blog on the IBM website, the technology giant has launched a proof of concept (PoC) with Movistar, a Telefonica brand, to deploy one of the first fully functional Open RAN networks, covering 81,000 inhabitants in the city of Puerto Madryn in Argentina.
This PoC, says IBM, is enabling the company to test live, commercial traffic and serves as an important early proof point for Open RAN technology as it continues to evolve and mature.
For this PoC, IBM says it has led the systems integration, pre-integrating the solution and enabling its end-to-end deployment. The company has also brought together components and systems from multiple software and hardware vendors, including Altiostar, Red Hat, Quanta, Gigatera and Kontron.
IBM says that this implementation demonstrates the telco industry's trust in IBM's experience as a systems integrator, as well as its proven tools and processes, to enable leading mobile operators to embrace emerging Open RAN technology.
The company adds that the PoC serves as an additional proof point for the maturity of Altiostar's Open RAN software and further strengthens Altiostar’s position as an IBM Cloud for Telecommunications ecosystem partner in the Open RAN domain.
As you might expect, IBM has been involved in Open RAN for several years now and sees a very strong future for the technology. Quoting information from analyst group Rethink Technology Research, it says that Open RAN technology is expected to be deployed at nearly two thirds of all cell sites by 2026.