Axiata embraces O-RAN upgrades across Asia

Axiata embraces O-RAN upgrades across Asia

Axiata Group Berhad, a leading operator in Asia, has been very busy in the open RAN space of late, with deals involving Mavenir and Parallel Wireless recently making news.

Described as the industry’s only end-to-end, cloud-native network software provider, Mavenir has announced that, along with Axiata, it has achieved full integration in a live environment, using the MAVair O-RAN-based solution for open RAN.

The company also highlighted the fact that this involves the first time in commercial service of the Evenstar 4G RRU ( remote radio unit), produced by the Telecom Infra Project, with 7.2 O-RAN interface and fully virtualized open RAN.

In practice this means that Axiata has selected sites from legacy incumbent vendors and replaced them with the MAVair Open vRAN solution. The sites are in Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Indonesia.

The MAVair family includes the flexible open RAN approach where the evolved RAN architecture, designed with cloud-native virtualization techniques, enables the RAN to flex and adapt based on usage and coverage – using virtualized disaggregated network components, with open standard interfaces, offering all the latest network features – while allowing specific customization and innovation where appropriate.

The MAVair Open vRAN is, says Mavenir, capable of performing in any type of environment, rural or urban.

Meanwhile, open RAN company Parallel Wireless has been selected by Axiata Group Berhad as a strategic partner to providing O-RAN networks for the group's digital telcos across Southeast Asia and South Asia, enabling both 2G and 4G broadband connectivity. 

A trial included replacing incumbent infrastructure with Parallel Wireless open RAN solutions where planning, design, commissioning, integration, testing, and optimization were performed remotely by the team amid Covid-19 restrictions. A single radio unit with 4G and 2G technology was installed, with baseband on a SuperMicro Intel x86 COTS platform; other centralized applications were installed on Axiata's existing OpenStack cloud infrastructure.

The three-sector, four-sector and six-sector field trials were described as flawless. Axiata is targeting commercial deployment in Q4 2021.