Aspire Technology partners on Telekom O-RAN Town

  • Europe’s first live open RAN deployment with Massive MIMO radio units for high performance 
  • Multi-vendor open RAN is set to increase flexibility and enable a more customer-focused network of the future
  • Vendor independent service management & orchestration (SMO) framework for efficient network automation

Deutsche Telekom has switched on its ‘O-RAN Town’ deployment in Neubrandenburg, Germany. O-RAN Town is a multi-vendor open RAN network that will deliver open RAN based 4G and 5G services across up to 25 sites. The first sites are now deployed and integrated into the live network of Telekom Germany. This includes Europe’s first integration of massive MIMO (mMIMO) radio units using O-RAN open fronthaul interfaces to connect to the virtualized RAN software.

Claudia Nemat, Board Member, Technology & Innovation, Deutsche Telekom: “Open RAN is about increasing flexibility, choice and reinvigorating our industry to bring in innovation for the benefit our customers. Switching on our O-RAN Town including massive MIMO is a pivotal moment on our journey to drive the development of open RAN as a competitive solution for macro deployment at scale. This is just the start. We will expand O-RAN Town over time with a diverse set of supplier partners to further develop our operational experience of high-performance multi-vendor open RAN.”

As the hardware and software components in a multi-vendor open RAN are coming from different vendors, the integration, testing and the lifecycle management of components is challenging. Automation is a ‘must have’ to manage this complexity and realize operational efficiencies expected from open RAN. Addressing this challenge, Deutsche Telekom has developed and introduced a vendor-independent Service Management and Orchestration (SMO), using ONAP open source as the foundation, for service automation across all network domains.

Aspire Technology has been instrumental in bringing O-RAN Town to reality, working with Deutsche Telekom teams to architect the end-to-end blueprint for seamless deployment, both in terms of the overarching service network and the vertical integration of all Open RAN components. Aspire Technology continues to support Deutsche Telekom with the further development of their Service Management and Orchestration (SMO) platform and verifying the expanding O-RAN Town solution in the integration lab – enabling unified deployment, operation and support of O-RAN Town.

The first live sites at O-RAN Town are built on a truly multi-vendor open RAN architecture with equipment from vendor partners Dell, Fujitsu, Intel, Mavenir, NEC and Supermicro. The remote radio units (O-RU) are provided by Fujitsu and NEC, including Fujitsu’s LTE and 5G NR O-RUs  and NEC’s 32T32R 5G massive MIMO (mMIMO) radio units (RU) conforming to O-RAN Alliance fronthaul specifications, embedded with advanced beamforming technologies. Mavenir provides the Cloud-Native baseband software for the 4G and 5G distributed units (O-DU) and central units (O-CU), including for the mMIMO radio units. The virtualized baseband software is running on standard server hardware provided by Dell and Supermicro. The entire O-RAN Cloud architecture is built on top of the Intel FlexRAN software architecture.