Benetel has signed up to participate in the SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC), a joint program between Digital Catapult and Ofcom via which the interoperability and integration of various 5G OpenRAN systems will be validated. SONIC goes into operation in May 2021. It will combine comprehensive laboratory testing capabilities with small-scale implementation activities.
"Benetel is partnering with Digital Catapult and Ofcom in relation to the SONIC program, and collaborating on real-world OpenRAN deployments. SONIC presents a highly effective platform to ensure OpenRAN deployment readiness for the UK 5G market," says Adrian O`Connor, CEO of Benetel.
Benetel will provide SONIC with OpenRAN radio units (O-RUs). These will be integrated with products from other providers in order to fully demonstrate OpenRAN's multi-vendor capabilities and the open ecosystem that it supports.
"Our goal is to ensure multi-vendor OpenRAN interoperability and the availability of advanced, deployment-ready OpenRAN systems to address the UK 5G market," states Joe Butler, CTO of Digital Catapult.
Benetel works with leading players and open initiatives, such as the O-RAN Alliance, the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA), the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), Open RAN Policy Coalition and now SONIC to provide RUs over fronthaul networks that interwork with virtualized baseband units. This open disaggregated RAN is the backbone of next-generation mobile network infrastructure.