NEC choses UK for global OpenRAN 5G centre

November 20, 2020 //By Nick Flaherty
NEC is to set up a Global Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the UK for OpenRAN 5G networking technology
NEC is to set up a Global Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the UK for OpenRAN 5G networking technology

The NEC centre will help to accelerate the global adoption of OpenRAN (radio access networks) technology and to further strengthen its structure for accelerating the global deployment of 5G.

The technology is gaining momentum by allowing equipment from multiple suppliers to be used for the roll out of the radio access networks of 5G networks, rather than having to use a complete system from one telecoms company. Multiple plugfests have shown how the hardware equipment and software can work effectively together (see links below).

The NEC global centre of excellence will be responsible for business and solution development, product development support, project execution and technical support for the company's OpenRAN business. The aim is to drive initiatives to promote openness of the largest wireless telecoms networks at scale through an OpenRAN ecosystem that includes its own products as well as those from partners.

The Centre will help communication service providers (CSP) introduce OpenRAN worldwide through its in-depth knowledge of wireless technology and NFV businesses, as well as NEC’s experience in supporting large scale OpenRAN commercial deployment in Japan. It will also form the backbone of NEC’s global project delivery capability, building on the company’s long term experience in communication network deployment, including wireless networks, across the globe.

NEC already has a telecoms R&D centre in Surrey and its European headquarters is in north London.

The UK centre will be strengthened through an OpenRAN Laboratory for technical verification in India. This will be responsible for building up OpenRAN ecosystems with interoperability validation in a multi-vendor environment, as well as verifying product and system level performance and quality assurance.

"Our customers expect commercial grade quality and operational readiness to underpin the deployment of OpenRAN technology in their networks," said Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President and President of the Network Services Business Unit at NEC in Japan.

Next: OpenRAN momentum

Picture: 
OpenRAN allows equipment from multiple suppliers to be used for the roll out of 5G networks

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