Deutsche Telekom AG / Norbert It

Nokia hails Deutsche Telekom Open RAN, BT API wins

Leading German operator works with Nokia and Fujitsu for open radio access network products integrated into its live commercial network with initial cluster to provide 2G, 4G and 5G commercial services to customers in Neubrandenburg, Germany

Deutsche Telekom AG (DT) and Nokia have begun to deploy a multi-supplier Open RAN network with Fujitsu in Germany, while in the UK, Nokia has sealed a deal with BT Group to develop 5G monetisation opportunities for its EE network.

The DT deployment is already under way, and will see Nokia launch its commercial Open RAN-compliant, 5G AirScale baseband service in DT’s commercial network, including Fujitsu Radio Units.

Nokia said its O-RAN service will ensure DT has full feature, service and performance parity with purpose-built RAN. Both companies have also agreed to explore Open RAN technology around Cloud RAN, third-party content as a service (CaaS), RAN intelligent controller, service management and orchestration, and energy efficiency.

The project will be extended from Q1 2024 onwards, and see the new offerings integrated into DT’s live commercial network, with the initial cluster providing 2G, 4G and 5G commercial services to customers in the Neubrandenburg area of northern Germany.

“Open RAN is crucial to Deutsche Telekom’s strategy to promote greater supplier diversity and accelerate customer-oriented innovation in the radio access network,” said Claudia Nemat, board member of Deutsche Telekom AG for technology and innovation.

“Our commercial deployment with Nokia and Fujitsu is an important step to prepare multi-vendor Open RAN as the technology of choice for future networks.”

The deployment is also part of Nokia’s anyRAN approach, which aims to build future-ready radio access networks together with an ecosystem of industry partners. Nokia anyRAN is designed to give mobile operators and enterprises more flexibility in building their networks.

Read more about Open RAN

In Open RAN, Nokia has developed Open Fronthaul features on top of its RAN software to ensure coexistence and feature performance parity with purpose-built RAN. Nokia baseband offerings can be combined with both Nokia and third-party radios. This is said to ensure a smooth evolution path towards hybrid, Cloud RAN and O-RAN deployments.

“We are proud to partner with Deutsche Telekom, the largest mobile network operator in Europe, to start deploying a commercial multi-vendor Open RAN network in Germany with Fujitsu,” said Tommi Uitto, president of mobile networks at Nokia. “Together, we are making Open RAN a commercial reality.

“Together with our ecosystem of partners, we are providing more choice and a higher performance in Open RAN solutions to our customers than they will see from other RAN suppliers. This is another step highlighting Nokia’s commitment to Open RAN.”

Meanwhile in the UK, the BT partnership will use the telco’s cloud-native network and Nokia’s NaC platform, which provides tools such as software development kits and open application programming interfaces, so that developers can build new use cases and create value for EE network customers.

The platform was launched in September, following months of close collaboration with developers and operators. It’s based on a revenue share model between developers, operators and Nokia as the platform provider.

5G-era networks are fundamentally software-based and rich in capabilities – such as improving network quality on demand – that can really make a difference to enterprises and consumers in ways that were not possible years ago,” said Reza Rahnama, managing director of mobile networks at BT Group.

“We are excited to work with Nokia and its new platform to help us better tap into those capabilities that we have been aggressively building into our 5G network.”

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