KDDI, a Japanese telecommunications operator, has announced that in cooperation with Samsung Electronics and Fujitsu, it initiated commercial deployment of O-RAN-compliant 5G Open Virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN) sites in Osaka, Japan.
According to KDDI, with unprecedented speeds made possible by cutting-edge communication technology, the spread of 5G services promises a number of fascinating new applications that open the door to a more connected world.
Although a rapid increase in communication volume is also anticipated to result from the abrupt increase in diverse network-connected gadgets, this will put strain on communications networks.
KDDI added that obtaining faster deployment and cheaper prices for network technologies, as well as developing advanced systems that can handle this growth in traffic, constitute an important need for vendors striving to establish 5G network infrastructure.
KDDI has been creating O-RAN-compliant 5G Open vRAN sites utilizing Samsung’s virtualized technology to address these increasing demands. KDDI modified the software of a 5G Open vRAN site that was O-RAN compliant and that it had successfully activated in February 2022 for the additional sites.
The radio units from Fujitsu and Samsung’s 5G virtualized CU (vCU) and DU (vDU) are interconnected via an open interface. Additionally, according to the Japanese telco, wireless controllers are equipped with completely virtualized RAN software on general-purpose servers to implement network functions.
KDDI added that fundamental operations are put into place as software to allow for flexible and effective control of network resources. KDDI also modified the software of the new sites to accommodate the 5G NSA solution connected to the 4G sites that are already in place and features that were accomplished in traditional sites utilizing specialized equipment, such as Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO).
“As a result, customers with existing 5G NSA smartphones will be able to enjoy the same comfortable communication as before. Moreover, this is the world’s first commercial MU-MIMO implementation with O-RAN compliant multi vendor interoperability,” said KDDI.
KDDI also developed a Zero Touch Provisioning system to automate configuration tasks when the base stations come online. The system automates the installation of servers and virtualized platforms from many manufacturers and aids in the quick deployment of base stations across the country, particularly in rural areas.
Based on the knowledge gained from its operation in Osaka City, the parties aim to expand the scope of application of this system in 2024 to realize full-scale deployment of Open vRAN sites. Moving forward, KDDI, Samsung and Fujitsu will continue to develop solutions for Open vRAN in Japan and promote nationwide deployment of 5G SA services for KDDI.