Deutsche Telekom switches on O-RAN Town deployment in Germany

Deutsche Telekom announced it has switched on its O-RAN Town deployment in Neubrandenburg, Germany.
O-RAN Town is a multi-vendor open RAN network that will deliver open RAN based 4G and 5G services across up to 25 sites. The first sites are now deployed and integrated into the live network of Telekom Germany. This includes Europe’s first integration of massive MIMO (mMIMO) radio units using O-RAN open fronthaul interfaces to connect to the virtualized RAN software.

Claudia Nemat, Board Member, Technology & Innovation, Deutsche Telekom, said: “Switching on our O-RAN Town including massive MIMO is a pivotal moment on our journey to drive the development of open RAN as a competitive solution for macro deployment at scale.”

Deutsche Telekom has pioneered open RAN since it co-founded the xRAN Forum in 2016, which led to the formation of the telco-led O-RAN ALLIANCE in 2018. Open RAN introduces supplier diversity to drive innovation and it is expected to lead to an even more flexible, secure, energy efficient and customer-centric network of the future.

The first live sites at O-RAN Town are built on a multi-vendor open RAN architecture with equipment from vendor partners Dell, Fujitsu, Intel, Mavenir, NEC and Supermicro. The remote radio units (O-RU) are provided by Fujitsu and NEC, including Fujitsu’s LTE and 5G NR O-RUs  and NEC’s 32T32R 5G massive MIMO (mMIMO) radio units (RU) conforming to O-RAN Alliance fronthaul specifications, embedded with advanced beamforming technologies.

Mavenir provides the Cloud-Native baseband software for the 4G and 5G distributed units (O-DU) and central units (O-CU), including for the mMIMO radio units. The virtualized baseband software is running on standard server hardware provided by Dell and Supermicro. The entire O-RAN Cloud architecture is built on top of the Intel FlexRAN software architecture.

Deutsche Telekom plans to expand O-RAN Town in phases across 2021 and 2022, working with different sets of vendors. These solutions are currently being tested in the lab to ensure interoperability across all components. The vendor-independent SMO is designed and developed to support a flexible integration and operation of these components with higher efficiency and with faster time-to-market.