Telus and Samsung Partner to Build Canada’s First Commercial Virtualized and Open RAN

Telus and Samsung Electronics have unveiled plans to construct Canada’s first commercial virtualized and open radio access network (RAN).
telus-retail-shop-canadaThe decision follows Telus’ selection of Samsung as its 5G network vendor in June 2020.

This deployment marks one of the first virtualized Open RAN implementations within an existing network environment.

The utilization of Open RAN enables Telus to leverage components from various manufacturers that best suit its requirements. Additionally, the adoption of a virtualized radio access network (vRAN) allows for the use of software instead of hardware, facilitating faster access to the latest technologies and fostering continuous innovation within the network.

“This is a very exciting milestone for Telus and the industry overall, as we now have the most flexible way to offer a diversified set of services to Canadians, unlocking new levels of mobile experiences,” Nazim Benhadid, Chief Technology Officer at Telus, said.

Extensive testing of both vRAN and Open RAN rollout in select Canadian markets has yielded promising results, validating the telco-grade performance and reliability of multi-vendor Open RAN technology, Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, said.

Telus informed that commercial deployment is slated to commence in the first half of this year, with a large-scale network rollout expected to begin in mid-2024.

Samsung will deliver its vRAN software and Open RAN compliant solutions, including its 64T64R Massive MIMO radios. Additionally, Samsung’s advanced vRAN 3.0 for 4G and 5G promises enhanced capabilities for improved energy savings, optimized performance, and intelligent automation.

Telus’ approach to embracing a multi-vendor Open RAN brownfield deployment involves collaboration with other ecosystem partners.

Wind River will provide cloud infrastructure, leveraging its expertise in real-time operating systems and cloud-native, distributed edge platforms.

Hewlett Packard Enterprise will deliver servers optimized for Open RAN, providing the foundation for a Distributed Unit (DU).

“Introducing vRAN and Open RAN into the Canadian market with Telus represents another formidable step in the re-shaping of the RAN for long-term advantage,” Stefan Pongratz, Vice President and Analyst at the Dell’Oro Group, said.