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STL to develop radio units to speed Facebook Connectivity’s Open RAN 5G delivery

News

STL joins the Evenstar bid to boost capacity and connectivity.

Telecoms system integrator STL is to build two macro radio products for the Facebook Connectivity collective’s Evenstar programme to develop OpenRAN 5G for the world’s mobile operators.

The 3GPP compliant systems – O-RAN compliant radio and O-RAN compliant 4G+5G Dual Technology Radio - will boost capacity in dense deployments and open more connections.

Facebook launched its Connectivity Lab in 2014 with a view to connecting more people in developing countries. It began with initiatives to free space optical technology, low orbit satellites and solar powered drones. 

Top tier testing STL

STL develops open, disaggregated, virtualised and programmable solutions for network access and recently launched a suite of open networking products, covering 5G wireless products like Garuda (indoor small cells), 5G multi-band macro radios and Wi-Fi 6 carrier-grade access systems. It claims that top-tier mobile operators in the US, UK and Asia Pacific are currently testing them.

The Evenstar programme is a collaborative effort including Facebook Connectivity and global industry partners to speed the adoption of Open RAN technology.

STL’s O-RAN compliant 4G+5G Dual Technology Radio will support both generations of network technologies either individually, concurrently or both. These 3GPP and O-RAN compliant radio products will be developed in 2022. No delivery dated has been mooted. 

Open RAN prevents proprietary 5G

Facebook Connectivity’s director of wireless engineering, Jaydeep Ranade, described the Evenstar programme as one of its effort to accelerate the commercial readiness of Open RAN systems. “We look forward to working with STL to continue shifting the industry towards open, disaggregated and more vendor-agnostic 5G networks,” said Ranade.

Chris Rice, CEO of STL’s Access Solutions Business, stressed that no vendor should be too big to get in the way of open systems.By building an open networking infrastructure we are enabling global telecom service providers to take the power of 5G technology to billions of people worldwide at lower cost points,” said Rice.

Digital network integrator STL specialises in optical interconnect, virtualized access, network software and systems integration.

Value of Open Ran

In June 2021, STL Partners released a report that estimated that by 2026 annual sales of O-RAN active network elements (including equipment and software) will reach $12 billion, or 21% of all active RAN CapEx (excluding passive infrastructure). By 2030, these will reach $43 billion and 76%, respectively.