Stephan Broszio


First commercial deployment of Open RAN with multiple partners

  • Deutsche Telekom pushes forward with its strategy to finalize open RAN solution readiness for full network modernization 
  • Customers to receive 2G, 4G and 5G services via open fronthaul based network deployment
  • Nokia and Fujitsu chosen as partners for initial multi-vendor deployment in Germany starting in 2023
  • Mavenir chosen as partner for a multi-vendor deployment including mMIMO in DT’s European footprint starting in 2023
Open RAN antenna.

Open RAN antenna. © Deutsche Telekom

For the next phase of its open RAN journey, Deutsche Telekom will partner with Nokia, Fujitsu and Mavenir among others for initial commercial deployments across its European footprint. 

Nokia and Fujitsu have been chosen as partners for an initial commercial open RAN introduction in Germany from 2023 onwards. Customers in the Neubrandenburg area will receive 2G, 4G and 5G services from the deployment in the ‘brownfield’ network environment of Telekom Deutschland.

In addition, Mavenir has been chosen as partner for an initial multi-vendor deployment in DT’s European footprint starting in 2023. 

“Open RAN is critical to Deutsche Telekom’s strategy to foster greater vendor diversity and accelerate customer focused innovation in the radio access network,” underlines Claudia Nemat, Board Member for Technology and Innovation. “We are committed to open RAN as the technology of choice for future networks and as a catalyst to take Europe forward in the digital era, so we are making it happen with partners. “

“Open RAN has matured over the last months in both stability and performance, which has given us the confidence for an initial commercial deployment. Together with Nokia, Mavenir and other ecosystem partners, we will use our collaboration as the springboard to accelerate open RAN development and create a path to deployment at scale,” says Abdu Mudesir, Deutsche Telekom Group CTO & CTO Germany”.

Adopting open fronthaul for interoperability and HW/SW decoupling for Cloud RAN

Traditional radio access networks are deployed as integrated solutions from one vendor. Open RAN unlocks some of the interface gates between different parts of the radio access network so operators can introduce components from different vendors. The open fronthaul interface, defined by the O-RAN ALLIANCE and now adopted by ETSI, allows interoperability between these components. Operators can therefore combine a baseband unit from one vendor with a radio unit from another vendor on one site.  

The sites at Neubrandenburg are built on a multi-vendor open RAN architecture with open fronthaul support and equipment from Nokia and Fujitsu. Nokia will deliver the baseband units. The O-RAN compliant remote Radio Units (O-RUs) will be provided by Nokia and Fujitsu.

For further deployments in the European footprint, Mavenir will provide the Cloud-Native baseband software for the 4G and 5G distributed units (O-DU) and central units (O-CU), including for the open fronthaul based mMIMO radio units. Other partners to be announced in due course.

Advancing the open RAN ecosystem 

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. 
In 2021, Deutsche Telekom initiated its O-RAN Town pilot in Neubrandenburg to test, assess and gain operational experience from a high-power multivendor deployment in a brownfield network. After completing the O-RAN Town pilot, Deutsche Telekom recently shared its learnings in a whitepaper 

Deutsche Telekom has also been working together with other leading European operators (the Open RAN MoU group), to advance open RAN ecosystem and solution development. Its latest report sets out the operators’ agenda for 2023 under the three main topics of maturity, security, and energy efficiency.

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