SEOUL, Korea – October 31, 2023 — Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. and O₂ Telefónica today announced that the companies will test advanced cloud-native vRAN (“virtualized Radio Access Network”) and Open RAN technologies in Germany. The two technologies enable network operators to set up even more flexible network architectures in which hardware and software are separated from each other and individual components are virtualized. The companies agreed to plan out a roadmap consisting of several tests in both lab and field.
O₂ Telefónica and Samsung will begin conducting initial tests of 4G and 5G vRAN and Open RAN technologies in a lab located at Munich, Germany. The companies will then carry out field tests in a commercial 5G network in Landsberg am Lech, with the goal to achieve technical and operational readiness. O₂ Telefónica, one of the leading mobile telecommunications providers in Germany, is transforming its network architecture towards one of the most efficient and future-proof networks built on modern RAN technologies, open interfaces and automation features.
“We believe cloud-native and autonomous architecture is a central pillar of network transformation to accelerate the adoption of innovative services, and O₂ Telefónica is working with the best players in the field,” said Mallik Rao, Chief Technology & Information Officer at O₂ Telefónica in Germany. “We are delighted to team up with Samsung as one of the first telecommunications providers in the European Union to test new networking solutions. We look forward to delivering the best-in-class connectivity to bring a host of new benefits to customers in the future.”
“Samsung is leading the charge in advancing vRAN and Open RAN with its proven expertise in large-scale commercial networks across multiple continents,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “This collaboration with O₂ Telefónica in Germany represents Samsung's ongoing commitment to forging new pathways in vRAN and Open RAN, bringing the next-generation networks one step closer.”
The vRAN solution aims to support O₂ Telefónica’s way to have more computation in an elastic cloud environment, which will have positive impacts on automation, availability, deployment speed and flexible capacity steering. It also supports low latency use cases like VR/AR as well as high availability use cases in the business segment.
Open RAN disaggregation will enable more flexibility and automation in the RAN environment, as it offers open interfaces with more possibilities to develop new use cases for customers and network operation. It also provides the opportunity to integrate multiple components from different suppliers in one network.
For this collaboration, Samsung will provide its market leading 4G and 5G vRAN software and Open RAN-compliant radios supporting low- and mid-bands, including 3.5 GHz Massive MIMO radios. Samsung’s vRAN solution offers greater flexibility and outstanding performance, backed by its proven commercial track record. Leveraging the advantages of fully disaggregated and software-based architecture, Samsung’s vRAN solution also features enhanced capabilities for intelligent automation and energy savings, which help operators build more efficient and sustainable networks.
As multi-vendor integration is essential in building a robust vRAN and Open RAN ecosystem, industry-leading players—Dell Technologies (Dell PowerEdge servers), Intel (Xeon ® Scalable Processor) and Wind River (Cloud Platform) will also join this commercial pilot delivering best-in-class solutions.
Throughout the trial, the companies will also test intelligent network automation solutions to control life cycle management—from deployment and operation to maintenance—with just a simple click. Leveraging Samsung's Service Management and Orchestration (SMO), which is an Open RAN-compliant solution, mobile operators can accelerate innovative software-based network rollouts by enabling automated deployment of thousands of network sites simultaneously.
Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions, including chipsets, radios and cores. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio, from vRAN 3.0, Open RAN, Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company currently provides network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users worldwide.
About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.
Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, digital appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com.
About O₂ Telefónica
O₂ Telefónica is a leading full-service provider of telecommunications services for consumers and business customers. The portfolio of the core brand O₂ and various secondary and partner brands includes not only traditional telephony and Internet connections but also innovative digital services in the area of the Internet of Things and data analysis. In mobile communications, O₂ Telefónica serves more than 44 million mobile lines (incl. M2M - as of December 31, 2022). No other network operator connects more people in this country. The company's high-performance, award-winning mobile network reaches over 99% of the population. In the fixed network, O₂ Telefónica offers its customers the greatest technological diversity and geographical availability of any provider in Germany. Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG is listed on the TecDAX and MDax. In fiscal year 2022, the company generated revenues of EUR 8.2 billion with around 7,250 employees. The company is majority-owned by the Madrid-based Spanish telecommunications group Telefónica S.A., one of the largest telecommunications groups in the world.