The first 5G multi-vendor controller implementation shows how OpenRAN and MIMO antennas can be used for IoT and private networks as well as public cellular.
Vodafone, Cohere Technologies, VMware, Capgemini Engineering, Intel and Telecom Infra Project (TIP) have successfully demonstrated an Open Radio Access Network (OpenRAN) platform to allow multiple customers to use the same 5G site.
In a test lab, the companies showed a doubling of the capacity of a 5G cell site using a programmable RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) supporting a mix of Open RAN components from multiple vendors. This collaboration represents a key milestone in demonstrating the potential of RIC sitting at the heart of an Open RAN installation.
This is the first demonstration of 5G Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO) says Vodafone, providing more capacity at a single cell site. MU-MIMO provides bandwidth to individual users connected to the same mobile site and is considered the pivotal technique to boost cell capacity in future 5G networks.
“This initiative validates the role that this powerful new platform plays in defining Open RAN as the future of networking. It boosts capacity for customers when they need it most, reduces the need for expensive hardware by a third and cuts down on energy consumption,” said Francisco Martín, Head of Open RAN at Vodafone.
The Cohere Spectrum Multiplier MU-MIMO scheduler used in the trial will double the bandwidth of 700MHz IoT networks using traditional MIMO multiple antennas. This software can be extended to Massive MIMO in mid-band networks, for example at 3.5GHz, with capacity gains of 4 to 5x.