NeutrORAN testbed used in UK 5G Open RAN trial

10th December 2020
Alex Lynn

The UK Government and NEC have announced the launch of the NEC ‘NeutrORAN’ project, which will showcase the latest innovations in the Open Radio Access Network (RAN) space. The project will be used to test and demonstrate a multiple operator, neutral host solution using an Open RAN ecosystem.

NEC considers the planned architecture to be scalable and to have potential on a global scale beyond the UK. The project objectives are to reduce costs and drive efficiencies enabling rural communities and businesses to prosper by removing the digital divides that still exist in the UK and the rest of the world.

This project will see 5G Open RAN live within the UK in 2021, testing solutions to deploy 5G networks in cost effective, innovative and secure ways. NEC is leading the drive on open standards with the establishment of a Global Open RAN Centre of Excellence in the UK. The NeutrORAN will be one of the first solutions delivered by the Centre of Excellence.

"I am delighted to welcome NEC to Wales for this innovative trial. It will help give mobile companies greater choice and flexibility in how they build their networks so we can diversify the global telecoms supply chain. The project is another step in NEC's growing commitment to the UK and follows the establishment of the company's Global Open RAN Center of Excellence in the UK," said Oliver Dowden, UK Government Digital Secretary.

Chris Jackson, CEO of NEC Europe, added: "We see this project as a catalyst for NEC introducing Open RAN into the UK and enabling the acceleration of 5G deployment.”

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