Axiata has embarked on an ambitious network transformation program, leveraging Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) as a key technology for mobile networks designed to narrow the digital divide and enhance rural connectivity across Asia.
Eyeing large scale commercial deployments by year end, the Group has successfully conducted Open RAN commercial field pilots in Malaysia, Indonesia, and Sri Lanka through strategic partnerships with leading global network solutions providers Mavenir and Parallel Wireless and supported by Infosys as systems integrator (SI).
Thomas Hundt, Axiata’s Group Executive Vice President Technology said, “Open RAN is the future for mobile networks, and it will be critical for 4G expansions as well as the 5G evolution that Axiata’s markets will soon embrace. Aligning with our vision to become The Next Generation Digital Champion, the benefits from open networks will enable Axiata to better serve rising connectivity needs across the region, especially in rural and underserved areas, whilst ensuring sustainable value creation for our stakeholders.”
Through its strategic partnership with Mavenir, the industry’s end to end network software provider, Axiata has deployed the MAVair Open vRAN solution including all G Open RAN, Packet Core and Mobile Network applications at selected sites, in Malaysia, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. To simulate non-ideal backhaul conditions, especially for rural areas, the sites selected are connected with non-ideal backhaul (microwave links), and in some cases satellite, making this the first satellite backhaul powered Open vRAN sites in the world.
Axiata’s commercial pilot also encompassed a collaboration with Parallel Wireless, the US-based Open RAN company delivering all G, cloud-native Open RAN solutions. Axiata successfully demonstrated commercial deployment of 2G and 4G Open RAN connectivity within its network in Sri Lanka which is operated by Dialog Axiata.
End user experience was demonstrated to be seamless and, in some cases, superior in terms of mobile broadband experience including next generation voice services. Commercial deployment encompassed rural, sub-urban and urban environments.
Pardeep Kohli, Mavenir President and CEO said, “Mavenir is delighted to work with Axiata on their radio network transformation initiative and to achieve excellent results in the live everyday environment, proving the extreme flexibility of Open vRAN. The collaboration will transform existing networks into a dynamic, agile and cloud-native based platform where Mavenir and Axiata will build the Networks of the Future.”
(This content is surmised from a press release)