Vodafone-led consortium unveils 5G first multi-supplier RAN intelligent controller implementation

News | June 4, 2021

There has recently been a massive push into O-RAN since various governments banned the use of communications technology from Huawei from operators’ networks. With O-RAN, mobile base stations can be built using hardware and software from multiple suppliers, rather than just one or two. Driven by software, it means it is easier and cheaper to extend mobile networks and carry out upgrades without replacing hardware.

O-RAN splits or separates the radio functions of a mobile mast, which means the hardware that manages the radio functions at the cell site can be reduced. At the same time, open application programming interfaces (APIs) will facilitate the integration of third-party applications allowing a diverse set of suppliers to contribute with new products and services.

Based on the performance of Cohere’s Spectrum Multiplier MU-MIMO scheduler in the trial, when the technique is commercially deployed in a low-band (700MHz) network, users will benefit from up to 2x the capacity achieved using traditional MIMO. This software can be extended to Massive MIMO in mid-band (such as 3.5GHz) 5G networks in order to push capacity gains towards 4-5x.

“We are pleased to work with Vodafone and ecosystem partners to demonstrate the power of our Spectrum Multiplier software with MU-MIMO,” said Cohere CEO and chairman Ray Dolan. “It shows how the functionalities held remotely can provide mobile network providers with the flexibility to keep network intelligence localised at the tower, or hosted at the edge datacentre, while improving spectrum assets.”

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