NTT DOCOMO announced that it has begun allowing overseas mobile operators to access its Shared Open Lab in Yokosuka, Japan to verify virtualized radio access networks (vRAN).
The lab is one of the initiatives of the New window5G Open RAN Ecosystem (OREC) project under which DOCOMO and 13 leading global vendors are working to develop Open RAN capable of incorporating interoperable equipment of multiple vendors.
The Shared Open Lab has deployed virtualized base stations made with equipment from multiple OREC partners. The verification environment is now open to remote access by global operators, eliminating their need to prepare in-house verification environments.
DOCOMO believes the lab will help operators to reduce overall costs, including constructing in-house labs and/or traveling to vendors’ labs, for the verification of base station functions and performance prior to commercial deployment.
DOCOMO, which has been a leader in the development of Open RAN for many years, became the world’s first mobile operator to launch a commercial 5G service via Open RAN in March 2020. The company’s 5G Open RAN currently includes more than 10,000 base stations and more than 10 million subscribers.
DOCOMO expects to commercialize vRANs for international mobile operators within fiscal year 2022.
The 13 members are AMD, Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, Hewlett Packard, Intel, Mavenir, NEC, NTT DATA, NVIDIA, Qualcomm Technologies, Red Hat, VMware and Wind River.