Bharti Airtel, one of the leading operators in India, has announced the successful completion of what is described as India’s first open radio access network (open RAN)-based live 5G network validation in partnership with network software provider Mavenir.
The open RAN-based 5G validation was conducted in Chandigarh and Mohali over 3,500 MHz band test spectrum allotted to Airtel by the Department of Telecom (DoT). Speeds of over 1Gbps were validated with the equipment, which was deployed and configured in non-standalone (NSA) mode and using commercially available 5G mobile devices.
The Mavenir open virtualised radio access network (open vRAN) solution is based on commercial off-the-shelf hardware, and 3,500MHz radio, employing open interfaces as defined by O-RAN Alliance, a worldwide community of more than 300 mobile network operators, vendors, and research and academic institutions operating in the radio access network (RAN) industry.
Mavenir says Open vRAN brings network elasticity, eliminates vendor lock-in and enables Airtel to leverage virtualisation, and web-scale containerisation to support an ‘any cloud’ deployment scenario.
Airtel has been a board member since the beginning of O-RAN Alliance, whose community is working in a transparent way to develop a sustainable open RAN ecosystem. Airtel was the first operator in India to commercially deploy an open virtual RAN solution based on disaggregated and open architecture defined by the O-RAN Alliance.
It says it is committed to furthering open RAN solutions by supporting a number of disruptive and innovative partners, helping them develop solutions capable of addressing the scale and complexity of its network and that of other established operators around the world.