1&1 AG builds first Open RAN mobile network in Europe

Mobile Network

Fin is a former junior editor at TechForge.

German telco 1&1 AG has launched the first European mobile network built on Open RAN technology.

Open RAN is an innovative approach to building mobile networks that doesn’t require a single supplier. By combining hardware interoperability with open standards for software, telco providers can reduce costs and complexities without having to rely on traditional vendors like Huawei or Nokia.

Ralph Dommermith, CEO of 1&1 AG, said: “The commissioning of our Open RAN network underscores our position as pioneers who now provide evidence in Germany that the world’s most modern network technology is fully functional.”

Japanese tech conglomerate Rakuten has been a major partner providing 1&1 AG with Open RAN software knowledge to build the infrastructure for its mobile network. US software firms Mavenir and Altiostar have also supported the process/

The network will be powered by a further host of vendors – including servers from Dell and Supermicro, antennas from Communication Components and NEC, and routers from Cisco.

1&1 AG’s choice of partners makes it the only mobile network operator in Germany not using Huawei antennas.

Testing on the network began last August with smartphone rate plans due to launch this upcoming summer, as well as national roaming services offered by Telefónica.

The new network experienced some delays in its initial rollout but, as it stands 235 sites are currently under construction with 1,000 radio masts planned for 2023.

Ultimately, the company hopes for a 50 percent household coverage by 2030.

Dommermuth added: “We expect to achieve this goal by commissioning about 12,600 radio masts and more than 500 regional data centres”.

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