Open RAN central to Telefonica’s 5G future

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ZURICH–As Telefonica continues to enhance its network and crystallize 5G plans, the Spanish-based multi-national operator this week, through its Telefonica Innovation Ventures investment arm, announced an investment in open radio access network infrastructure Altiostar, which specializes in software-based, virtualized RAN equipment.

Through industry consortia the Telecom Infra Project and O-RAN Alliance, a range of operators and vendors are collaborating to develop specifications establishing interoperability for multi-vendor RAN environments. The goal is shift network economics by swapping out purpose-built equipment for cheaper general-purpose equipment. In addition to taking cost out of RAN capex through the generational upgrade to 5G, open RAN initiatives could also foster competition in the network infrastructure vendor space that’s dominated by Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia.

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