Who will win OpenRAN deals from Telefonica and Vodafone?

Ericsson data network userEricsson, Huawei, Nokia, and ZTE, the leading RAN vendors, will be looking for major deals with Telefonica and Vodafone to supply their OpenRAN solutions.

Telefonica and Vodafone, the two leading telecom operators with significant global presence, aim to enhance customer experience of their wireless users and reduce operation cost (Opex) by opting for OpenRAN solutions.

Mobile core, IMS / VoLTE and RAN segments will account for approximately 40 percent of all service provider SDN (Software Defined Networking) and NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) spending by the end of 2020, according to a report from SNS Telecom & IT.

Telecom service providers face Capex and Opex issues, amid growing requirements for high-speed mobile broadband services. By reducing reliance on hardware platforms, NFV and SDN, telecoms can reduce Capex.

Telefonica and Vodafone, two members of The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) – promoted by Facebook, have issued Request for Information (RFI) to identify suppliers of Radio Access Network (RAN) equipment. There is no information on the timeline on the deployment of OpenRAN solutions.

The RFI specifically will assess the ability of the technology vendors to meet requirements for RAN platforms as established by TIP’s OpenRAN project group.

The objective of the OpenRAN Project Group is the development of programmable RAN solutions based on General Purpose Processing Platforms (GPPP) and disaggregated software.

Telefonica and Vodafone are looking for a RAN platform that could extend their 4G network coverage. Other technologies including 2G and 3G are also included in the RFIs.

Vodafone and Telefonica will present the results of the RFI process at the TIP Summit 2018 in London on October 16-17 and identify technology vendors that meet RFI requirements.

“We have conducted initial technology validations. It is the right moment to deliver specific requirements and ensure focus by providing clarity on what we need for our deployments,” Santiago Tenorio, head of Networks Strategy and Architecture at Vodafone, said.

SNS Telecom & IT estimates that NFV and SDN investments in service provider networks – both mobile and fixed-line – will account for nearly $22 billion by the end of 2020. Nearly 40 percent of these investments will be directed towards the mobile core, IMS/VoLTE and RAN segments of mobile operator networks.

“We are committed to the evaluation, development, and deployment of OpenRAN. This RFI is a step towards commercialization of new solutions that will simplify cellular networks deployment and operations,” David Del Val, I+D CEO at Telefonica, said.