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Standards alliance adds to membership as NEC opens new Open RAN lab

Japanese tech giant establishes Open RAN laboratory in India to complement centre of excellence in the UK, where Southampton University spin-off joins O-RAN Alliance

Open radio access network (RAN) technology has come to the fore in 2020, and the standard will end the year with NEC accelerating development of a 5G open ecosystem and AccelerComm joining the O-RAN Alliance.

In opening a new Open RAN facility in India, Japan’s NEC said it was committed to developing highly reliable, high-quality, end-to-end systems using its expertise in the telecoms industry to develop, deliver and operate carrier-grade commercial products and networks.

The new facility will aim to ramp up development of the company’s 5G open ecosystem by pre-integrating partner Open RAN components to form end-to-end, commercial-ready technology according to customer-specific needs.

The systems will undergo end-to-end practical validations on functional/operational performance and quality assurance throughout all layers of the RAN, from network and cloud to service layers. The lab will also be responsible for post-deployment troubleshooting and lifecycle management, as well as continuous integration and continuous delivery of solutions.

NEC also intends to maximise the value of its open ecosystem by combining its competencies with products from various partners that it sees as being at the forefront of innovation. Initial partners include Altiostar, GigaTera and MTI, as NEC plans to expand its ecosystem with a broader group of partners that have cutting-edge technologies to accelerate operators’ commercial adoption of Open RAN.

“We are confident that our firm partnerships with the industry’s best talents will enable us to advance the development of cutting-edge carrier-grade ecosystems at full throttle,” said Kazuhiko Harasaki, deputy general manager, service provider solutions division, NEC Corporation. “NEC will take leadership in curating pre-validated models and facilitating commercial, multi-vendor Open RAN deployment as a viable alternative 5G network for operators.”

Part of such networks will be AccelerComm, a company that enhances 5G with IP which increases spectrum efficiency and reduces latency. By joining the O-RAN Alliance – an industry association with a mission to reshape mobile networks to be more intelligent, open, virtualised and fully interoperable without compromising performance – AccelerComm says it will contribute to the technical development of O-RAN standards, bringing its channel coding experience to reduce latency and increase spectrum efficiency for Open 5G networks.

The company’s product suite includes a channel coding IP system designed to reduce latency and power consumption for 5G components.

“Delivering ultra-reliable low-latency communications is critical to the success of 5G,” said Robert Barnes, vice-president sales and marketing at AccelerComm. “We are delighted to have joined the O-RAN Alliance in order to help support their mission through reducing latency and increasing efficiency in 5G networks being deployed around the globe.”

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