Ericsson and O2 Telefónica run Trials for 5G Cloud RAN

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Ericsson and O2 Telefónica Showcase Groundbreaking Cloud RAN and mmWave Technology in Europe

Leading kit vendor Ericsson and telecom operator O2 Telefónica have jointly presented a remarkable proof of concept, demonstrating the power of Cloud RAN and mmWave technology in Germany.

This groundbreaking demonstration, held at O2 Telefónica’s Wayra innovation hub in Munich, marks a significant milestone as Europe’s first Cloud RAN 5G mmWave use case demo. The successful setup employed a centralized control unit (CU) combined with mmWave frequency, achieving an impressive end-to-end speed of over 4 gigabits per second. The collaboration between the two companies has resulted in the validation of Cloud RAN’s feasibility for enterprise, industry-specific use cases, as well as fixed wireless access (FWA) use cases.

For those less familiar with the terms, Cloud RAN and virtualization introduce a transformative shift by relocating computational processes that typically occur at the tower into the cloud.

By adopting a cloud-native, standardized architecture and virtualizing the RAN, O2 Telefónica gains the ability to respond swiftly to customer needs, introduce new products and services with unparalleled flexibility and agility, and realize an array of benefits, including faster service delivery, improved scalability, and enhanced cost efficiency.

A specific use case closely tied to this project is the innovative “data shower” concept, which finds application in the automotive industry. It facilitates the deployment of software updates to vehicles in production lines through mmWave technology, ensuring high-bandwidth transfer.

Daniel Leimbach, Head of Customer Unit Western Europe at Ericsson, expressed his excitement about the partnership, emphasizing its role in paving the way for future network development. He praised the potential of Cloud RAN for high-performance use cases and highlighted the significance of the end-to-end cloud-native network enabled by the deployment of cloud-native 5G core in O2 Telefónica Germany.

Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer of O2 Telefónica, echoed Leimbach’s sentiments, declaring O2 Telefónica a pioneer in deploying cutting-edge network technologies like Cloud RAN. He lauded the cloud-based, standardized architecture for its ability to respond rapidly to customer needs, introduce products and services with unmatched flexibility, and efficiently scale the O2 network.

The successful trial will serve as the foundation for O2 Telefónica’s plans to roll out Cloud RAN technology to its macro networks.

Beyond this project, other telecom operators are also exploring the potential of Cloud RAN. BT conducted a successful Cloud RAN trial in Leeds, aiming to use it as a proof of concept for future developments. Meanwhile, Australia’s Telstra carried out its first 5G data call using cloud-based networking technology, paving the way for broader deployment of Ericsson’s Cloud RAN technology.

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