OpenRAN is set to be trialled for the first time in Asia via a collaboration between Indosat Ooredoo, the GSMA and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP).
Indosat Ooredoo is aiming to begin trials of the technology later this month with the aim of allowing providers to deliver cheaper internet access to the country’s most remote regions. The operator is working with the GSMA to assess potential sites for the trials, but has confirmed that one test will take place at a universal service obligation (USO) base station site in one of the archipelago’s most under-developed areas.
The operator’s director and COO Vikram Sinha said that greater standardisation in the design and functionality of both hardware and software would make it more affordable for providers to offer voice and internet services, boosting digital growth in Indonesia. “There are islands in Indonesia where we need to make sure the internet is available and affordable to everyone”, he noted.
To underline its commitment to creating an affordable communications ecosystem, the operator has also partnered with TIP to set up Southeast Asia’s first TIP Community Lab, which will open in the next three to six months.
The lab will act as a neutral host platform, allowing for interoperability testing among telecoms providers and TIP members. Executive director Attilio Zani noted that the lab’s neutral status would allow for unrestricted sharing of findings.
Julian Gorman, head of Asia Pacific for GSMA, noted that Indonesia’s large population and eagerness to adopt new mobile technology made it a clear candidate to host the lab, saying: “Operators in Indonesia are taking a lead in driving digital transformation. This is also an important move for the APAC region and promises to be a reference for other operators to explore network technology innovation for increased diversity, security and flexibility in their supply chain”.