Friday 21 January 2022

Telefónica Deutschland Activates Germany's First Open RAN Small Cells with Airspan Networks

O2 / Telefónica is a technological pioneer in the use of Open RAN. Since December 2020, it has successfully integrated four base stations in Landsberg am Lech into its mobile network. At present, they are testing the technology, gaining experience and planning further expansion at other locations once all tests have been successfully completed. 

In an announcement this week, it said that it is the first German mobile network operator to have activated the first mini-radio cells with innovative Open RAN technology (ORAN) in Munich. They are intended to provide all O2 Germany customers with even more capacity and higher bandwidths at busy locations in the future. 

While the press release doesn't mention the vendor, Airspan Networks Tweeted that the ORAN Small Cell is supplied by them

Selected extract from the press release as follows:

With the compact, flexibly deployable latest-generation mini mobile cells, the company is able to increase 5G/4G capacities in the O2 network at high-traffic locations in urban areas faster than before. The mini-radio cells, attached to a building facade on Klenzestraße in Munich's Gärtnerplatz district, supplement the 4G/5G mobile network installed on rooftops in the city center, but do not replace it.

Small Cells directly enhance the network experience for local customers. The new technology, which is not much bigger than a shoebox, provides customers in very close proximity with 4G and bandwidths of up to 100 Mbps. In the near future, O2 / Telefónica will also use the small cells for targeted, selective 5G coverage. Here, too, the focus will primarily be on particularly busy locations in German city centers, such as very busy squares, shopping streets or public transport stops.

In addition to a power supply, the small cells required a connection via fiber optics. In Munich, this is provided by the fiber optic infrastructure of Stadtwerke München and the local telecommunications provider M-net.

In the coming weeks, further installations will follow in Munich's city center: First, two 4G radio cells at Gärtnerplatz and later this year, O2 / Telefónica will also install pure 5G Open RAN mini radio cells ("5G Standalone") for the first time in the area of Kaufinger Straße in the Bavarian capital. In the course of these expansions, it is also conceivable to use existing infrastructures of Stadtwerke München - such as bus stops or power distributors.

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