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NTT Data, Mavenir announce global 5G Open RAN collaboration

Cloud-native network software provider teams with digital business and IT services provider, aiming to meet the needs of operators around the world as they build or transition to open and virtualised 5G networks

Aiming to drive openness and virtualisation in 5G networks, global digital business and IT services provider NTT Data has formed a technology partnership with Mavenir Systems to provide products, systems and integration services for 5G networks based on cloud-native, open-architecture-based systems, including Open RAN (O-RAN).

The companies say their strategic partnership is being driven in an effort to promote the adoption of O-RAN by telecom operators and the realisation of digital transformation by enterprise operators using 5G. The partnership will see NTT Data global delivery and Mavenir solutions combined to meet the needs of operators around the world as they build or transition to open and virtualised 5G networks.

By constructing such networks, NTT Data and Mavenir will also contribute to the digitisation of rural areas, which they say have so far not benefited from high-speed wireless communications.

Through the collaboration, the two companies will combine various IT and telecommunication services, including integration services provided by NTT Data worldwide, with Mavenir’s Open Virtualised RAN (vRAN) technology and Converged Packet Core to support the adoption of Open vRAN by telecommunications carriers and the realisation of digital transformation by enterprises and telecom operators using 5G.

NTT Data and Mavenir will provide network services with the added value that open and virtualised 5G networks can bring. In particular, they will prioritise, and work closely together on, pioneering projects to drive open architecture-based approaches in enabling bigger and broader ecosystems to unlock the true potential of 5G networks.

NTT Data pointed out that it has been providing various IT-related services to customers in a wide range of industries, from consulting based on IT strategy knowhow to full-line system integration, including system design, development, operation and maintenance, and their managed services. In particular, NTT Data, as a company with its roots in NTT, has been providing what it calls “optimal” IT services to its customers while avoiding vendor lock-in.

In recent years, NTT Data has also delivered consulting services for cutting-edge IT strategies, including the use of cloud computing technologies.

Mavenir’s Open vRAN encompasses 4G and 5G radio access. Its disaggregated RAN approach extends virtualisation to the edge of the network and provides strategic differentiation by enabling multi-source remote radio units to interwork with the virtualised, containerised, cloud-based base band software over Ethernet Fronthaul using the O-RAN open interface, overcoming the traditional constraints of the proprietary specifications, making the radio access network highly scalable and flexible.

NTT Data and Mavenir have already realised one of the first cloud-native 5G standalone (SA) campus networks at Ensō – The Space for Creators in Germany. NTT Docomo’s O-RAN ecosystem has also selected NTT Data as a system integrator and Mavenir as a RAN software provider and is working to realise Open vRAN in telecom operators. Through these efforts, the two companies claim to have enhanced the feasibility of their collaboration.

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