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Mavenir joins the Open Ran lab club

News

The US company is to open a Development Centre just down the road from Vodafone’s OpenRAN Lab announced yesterday.

Both announcements came within a week of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), which oversees telecoms, published a report on the Telecoms Diversity Taskforce, which it announced last December.

UK presence

Mavenir said the investment is part of a programme to increase Mavenir’s presence and contributions in the UK and follows the acquisition of ip.access and the opening of the Centre of Excellence for Multi Radio Access Technology in Cambridge.
 
The new Centre in Swindon (a town famous for its Magic Roundabout and about 37 miles away from Newbury, which will be the site of Vodafone's OpenRAN Lab) is dedicated to software and system design for Open RAN radio units and is intended to broaden the development of Open RAN-based systems.

A key project is the development of open-source software for the control board and management plane of the Open RAN O-RAN 7.2 compatible remote radio unit (RRU).

Mavenir intends to make this available to all RRU manufacturers to accelerate the availability of Open RAN RRUs in different versions and frequencies while providing a common management interface.

This initiative is designed to provide mobile operators with the same management software on any Open RAN RRUs, regardless of the supplier, and provide an smoother interoperability and upgrade path.

Validating principles

“This work is another step in validating the principles of Open RAN while simplifying element integration into operator networks through the use of a common RRU interface,” says Mikael Rylander, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Mavenir.

“We are providing tools and open-source software to the RRU community in order to let them focus on their unique strengths and Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in the digital and analog performance parts of the Radio. We aim to simplify interoperability across all ORAN interfaces, including orchestration and maintenance capabilities”.
 
This new investment in Swindon will add to Mavenir’s existing talent pool in the UK and supports the UK Government’s vendor Diversification Strategy unveiled in December 2020 and the Telecoms Diversification Taskforce report published by DCMS this week.

UK leadership

Stefano Cantarelli, Mavenir’s UK-based Chief Marketing Officer, said, “We…support the Taskforce’s conclusion that internationally-agreed open and interoperable standards are a key enabler and the recognition that the G7 Digital Track discussions provide an ideal opportunity for the UK to lead like-minded countries towards this objective.

“Open RAN can enable a very positive future for the telecoms sector, and its customers and allow the UK and UK companies to take a leading role in the global industry.”

New investment

Separately Mavenir announced it is to receive $500 million investment from Koch Strategic Platforms, a subsidiary of Koch Investments Group, for a minority share in the company. Mavenir's owner, Siris Capital Group, will hold the majority stake in the company.