1&1 Launches Europe’s First Fully Virtualized 5G Network with Open RAN Technology

1&1, the German mobile network provider, has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by unveiling Europe’s inaugural fully virtualized 5G network, propelled by the innovative Open RAN technology.
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After successfully offering Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) since December 2022, the provider has now extended its services to include mobile services (eMBB), marking the full functionality and availability of 1&1 O-RAN throughout Germany.

Key Highlights:

Cutting-Edge Technology: 1&1 O-RAN operates on Open RAN technology, separating software and hardware to create a cloud-native network that revolutionizes traditional mobile network operations.

Network Coverage: The network is swiftly expanding across Germany. In areas where 1&1’s network infrastructure is yet to be established, customers will seamlessly connect through national roaming on the Telefónica network, and from summer 2024, on the Vodafone network.

Network Control: The efficient control of the cloud-native 1&1 O-RAN is powered by Rakuten’s leading software and platform, in collaboration with a core network provided by Mavenir. Rakuten Symphony, a Rakuten Group company specializing in global B2B services for the mobile telco industry, leads the end-to-end integration of the network.

Revolutionizing Network Architecture:

Unlike traditional setups, 1&1 O-RAN adopts a pioneering approach where antennas are software-based within a private cloud. This cloud operates on commercial off-the-shelf servers in numerous decentralized edge data centers, facilitating seamless connectivity via fiber optics to gigabit antennas.

Partnerships and Innovation:

1&1 O-RAN stands out for its collaborative ecosystem involving more than 80 companies, allowing flexibility in partnering with various manufacturers via standardized interfaces. The network boasts a diverse array of products and services without relying on dominant equipment suppliers from China.

Leadership Statements:

Ralph Dommermuth, CEO of 1&1 AG, highlights, “All network functions are located in our private cloud and are controlled by software. This comes mainly from Rakuten and Mavenir… The full functionality of the 1&1 O-RAN is a major milestone in our company’s history.”

Mickey Mikitani, Chairman and CEO of Rakuten Group, emphasizes the significance of the partnership: “As the first provider in Europe to operate a commercial Open Radio Access Network, 1&1 has created a digital beacon with its innovative mobile network.”

Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO of Mavenir Systems Inc., expresses pride in their involvement: “We congratulate 1&1 on Europe’s most advanced mobile network and are proud to be part of this innovation from the beginning.”

1&1’s pioneering stride in launching Europe’s first fully virtualized 5G network underscores a new era in mobile technology, setting a precedent for future advancements in network infrastructure and connectivity.