Etisalat to trial OpenRAN solutions across MEA

Published: 20 February 2020 - 8:21 a.m.

US tech firm Parallel Wireless is to provide Etisalat with cutting edge OpenRAN technology to be deployed across its Middle Eastern and African networks.

Etisalat will trial Parallel Wireless’ 2G, 3G, 4G & 5G OpenRAN solution across its regional markets, which cover 148 million subscribers.

“Today’s announcement is a global achievement setting a technological benchmark across our markets. This is in line with our long-term strategy and vision of ‘Driving the Digital Future to empower societies’ that has translated to provide the best-in-class customer experience and deliver best value to our shareholders. The global trials of OpenRAN with Parallel Wireless reiterate Etisalat’s commitment to our vision encouraging us to take the lead in OpenRAN by conducting field trials with various leading technology partners to create an innovative ecosystem in all of our markets. This is also the world’s first ‘ALL G’ OpenRAN set to provide efficiency and cost benefits for 4G and 5G in addition to setting a roadmap for the next generation of telecom networks,” said Hatem Bamatraf, CTO, Etisalat International.

Parallel Wireless’ ALL G solution will effectively decouple Etisalat’s network’s programmable RAN software from the hardware, allowing it to run on general-purpose processing platforms. Etisalat will therefore be able to deploy ALL G systems with fully virtualised 2G, 3G 4G technology, which can in turn be upgraded to 5G via a software upgrade.

“As one of the leading communication providers in the emerging markets, Etisalat understands the true potential of greater leverage to their business, in both high end and low-end markets with a greater buying power by shaping the telecom ecosystem and embracing new network architectures, such as OpenRAN. We are proud to have partnered with Etisalat for these engagements to deliver coverage and capacity without making extensive capital investments associated with legacy network deployments. We are proud to have been selected to support Etisalat in reimagining wireless infrastructure to be much lower cost ensuring access to innovative digital services in the region,” said Amrit Heer, sales director, MENA, Parallel Wireless.

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