NEC sets up global Open RAN Centre of Excellence in the UK

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The Japanese corporation hopes the Centre will help accelerate global adoption of 5G Open RAN and leverage the expertise it gained in Japan with Rakuten Mobile.

NEC Corporation announced it will set up of its Global Open RAN Centre of Excellence (CoE) in the UK to accelerate the global adoption of Open RAN and to strengthen its structure for accelerating the global deployment of 5G.

Timing and geography

NEC is basking in the reflected glory of its deep involvement with Japan's trailblazing Rakuten Mobile. Also, Huawei is currently banned from inclusion in the UK's 5G networks, leaving something of a vacuum, and the Vodafone Group has headquarters in England.

As well as being a heavy user of Huawei's equipoment, Voafone is also he most ambitious of the established mobile operators regarding the deployment of Open RAN, which it intends to roll out across the UK and the rest of its European footprint.

According to the NEC, the new Centre will be responsible for business and solution development, product development support, project execution and technical support for NEC's global Open RAN business.

Global ambitions

Apparently the Centre will help operators introduce Open RAN worldwide through its in-depth knowledge of wireless technology and NFV businesses, as well as NEC’s experience in supporting large scale Open RAN commercial deployment in Japan.

Its operations will be strengthened and scaled through an Open RAN Laboratory (technical verification facility) based in India, which will be responsible for building up Open RAN ecosystems with interoperability validation in a multi-vendor environment, as well as verifying product and system level performance and quality assurance.

"Our customers expect commercial grade quality and operational readiness to underpin the deployment of Open RAN technology in their networks," said Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President and President of the Network Services Business Unit, NEC Corporation.

"NEC will be a strategic partner to our customers in making that happen through our technology leadership, R&D capability as a RAN product vendor ourselves, and operational experience we have gained through generations of RAN deployment."