Benetel sees open RAN as a driver behind the development of 5G
Dublin-based wireless technology infrastructure provider Benetel has been heavily focused on contributing to an open Radio Access Network ecosystem that is based on General Purpose Processing Platforms (GPPP) and disaggregated software, an ecosystem that, according to Benetel CEO Adrian O’Connor, will result in a “massive market disruption” in the form of new opportunities and new players. Further, the company sees open RAN as a driver behind the development of 5G and has identified the American market as particularly critical to that growth.
Benetel became involved with the Telecom Infra Project early on in the discussion around open RAN, and in doing so, became increasingly aware clear that telecom operators felt their infrastructure options were quite limited.
As a result, the company now focuses on disaggregation, which would allow for functions to be flexibly deployed and for the use of interoperable and open interfaces.
“For service providers this means innovation, of course,” he told RCR Wireless News, “but it also means an opportunity for disruptive, nontraditional vendors to bring differentiated solutions to the market.”
It is in this space that Benetel sees an opening for its radio units, the latest one being the BNTL-RAN100-3-1L RRU, announced last October. The unit, intended for 7.2 split front haul network implementation, has a connection data rate of 10 Gbps and supports 2×2 multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) streams, a 20 megahertz bandwidth and a +21dBm per antenna port transmission output.
For 5G, specifically, O’Connor sees open-stack efforts as a key trend. One such initiative that O’Connor identified as popular in Europe, the U.S. and Asia is OpenAirInterface.
The OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) advocates for open source software and hardware development for the core network access network and user equipment of cellular networks.
When asked what makes the Americas a key area for Benetel, Olli Andersson, the company’s senior VP, Americas explained that a large portion of the telecom ecosystem is in the U.S. and that the conversations around CBRS spectrum has made for “some interesting dynamics,” making it an excellent place to focus on when trying to deliver new solutions.
O’Connor added, “From the operator side of it, [U.S. operators] are particularly curtailed with the vendor choice in terms of infrastructure player with Huawei being cut out of that market.”
“We think spectrum sharing will be a key aspect of this market,” O’Connor continued. “If you look at what’s been happening with CBRS in the U.S. and the way that has been moving nicely now on 4G, there’s efforts to move to a disaggregated network in this kind of set up.”
“Disaggregation, in general,” provided Andersson, “should enable a variety of different companies providing highly specialized and innovative functions.”