Quickline/Mavenir deliver 5G SA cloud-native Open RAN
Rural broadband specialists Quickline Communications, in collaboration with Mavenir, is the first internet service provider in the UK to commercially deliver a 5G standalone (SA), cloud-based, Open RAN system for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service in the Shared Access Spectrum licence.
Using the existing radio network infrastructure and masts, the Open RAN approach allows service providers to speed up the development of their 5G networks through the ‘open source’ nature of the technology, avoiding vendor locking. It means all internet and mobile phone providers will be able to compete on a level playing field, no matter their size, and deliver the government ambition to connect rural communities.
Quickline has been testing its own fully cloud-native Open RAN, alongside a number of suppliers, for the past two years. With full confidence in the results, the company has now switched on its first mast, advancing ahead of its competitors, and demonstrating its ambitions to be technical leaders in this sector.
Ian Smith, Quickline’s Chief Technology Officer, commented: “This is a UK first and firmly supports the Government’s ambitions to provide gigabit capable connectivity to rural communities and to diversify the telecoms supply chain. As a result of being involved in the UK 5G testbed programme, we have developed and commercialised a 5G standalone, cloud-native OpenRAN network which utilises the N77 spectrum band as part of Ofcom’s Shared Access Spectrum licence.”
For the last two years, Quickline has been leading a £6 million project to boost rural connectivity in North Yorkshire as part of the Mobile Access North Yorkshire (MANY) consortium, which successfully bid into the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport’s (DCMS) co-ordinated 5G Testbeds and Trials programme. Following an evaluation process, Quickline selected Mavenir as the key technology provider in developing a truly cloud-native Open-RAN and bringing this into live service.
The Quickline network will be used for a FWA service, providing ultrafast mobile connectivity to rural communities across the North of England. Mavenir is providing an end-to-end system that is built with cloud-native principles and software-centric design, enabling faster time to market and a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), making a 5G network, based on an open system, an ideal choice for operators to serve rural communities.