MWC 2024: NTT Docomo Selects NEC for 5G Network Virtualization

NEC Corporation disclosed its selection by NTT Docomo as the vendor for virtualized radio access network (vRAN) services in 5G network.
NTT Docomo 5G store JapanNEC will be supplying vRAN solutions to facilitate the establishment of agile and adaptable 5G networks across their commercial platforms.

Moreover, under the aegis of OREX, Docomo’s Open RAN service brand, NEC’s software will be deployed globally, aligning with the initiatives of other OREX partners to foster an inclusive Open RAN ecosystem.

The vRAN solution, engineered to meet carrier-grade standards compliant with the O-RAN specifications established by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, epitomizes cloud-native architecture. Developed leveraging NEC’s extensive expertise in 5G hardware base station technology, this system boasts a proven track record in large-scale commercial deployments.

Additionally, its software, compatible with contemporary commercially available servers employing cutting-edge microprocessors, ensures expedited processing, thereby enabling high-speed, high-capacity 5G communications.

The integration of virtualization technology within core networks has been pivotal in hastening service deployment by curtailing equipment costs and procurement lead times. With orchestrators facilitating automated network operation and management, service quality and reliability are augmented, empowering networks to operate autonomously in tandem with service and traffic demands.

Extending the implementation of virtualization technology to the 5G RAN domain is poised to bolster DOCOMO’s endeavor to curtail total cost of ownership (TCO) by up to 30 percent and reduce power consumption by up to 50 percent.

NEC’s existing provision of virtualization technologies for virtual Evolved Packet Core (vEPC) in Docomo’s 4G commercial services and 5G mobile core network (5GC) underscores their commitment to supporting a broad spectrum of DOCOMO services. By advocating for RAN domain virtualization, NEC aims to offer adaptable support for DOCOMO’s diverse service portfolio, thus fostering the establishment of a robust 5G network.

Masafumi Masuda, General Manager, Radio Access Network Technology Promotion Office, Radio Access Network Design Department, Docomo, said, “Integrating NEC vRAN software, renowned for its stellar radio and cloudification technologies, into Docomo’s 5G RAN framework utilizing O-RAN ALLIANCE specifications from inception, enables us to achieve even greater power efficiency and operational flexibility. Together with NEC and other OREX PARTNERS, we are committed to offering genuine Open RAN solutions to the global market.”

Michio Kiuchi, Corporate Executive Vice President of NEC, expressed his gratitude at being selected by Docomo as the commercial 5G vRAN vendor, emphasizing NEC’s dedication to leveraging virtualization technology for telecommunications infrastructure to deliver high-quality, dependable vRAN solutions.

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