NTT DOCOMO, INC. has begun allowing overseas mobile operators to access its Shared Open Lab environment, located in DOCOMO’s R&D Center in Yokosuka, Japan, to verify their virtualized radio access networks (vRAN).
The lab is one of the initiatives of the New window5G Open RAN Ecosystem (OREC) project under which DOCOMO and 13 leading global vendors are working to develop truly flexible Open RAN capable of incorporating interoperable equipment of multiple vendors.
Shared Open Lab environment
Since its establishment last October, the Shared Open Lab has deployed virtualized base stations made with equipment from multiple OREC partners. The verification environment is now open to remote access by global operators, eliminating their need to prepare in-house verification environments.
DOCOMO believes the lab will help operators to greatly reduce overall costs, including constructing in-house labs and/or traveling to vendors’ labs, for the verification of base station functions and performance prior to commercial deployment.
DOCOMO, which has been a leader in the development of Open RAN for many years, became the world’s first mobile operator to launch a commercial 5G service via Open RAN in March 2020. The company’s 5G Open RAN currently includes more than 10,000 base stations and more than 10 million subscribers. Furthermore, within fiscal year 2022, DOCOMO expects to commercialize highly flexible and scalable vRANs for international mobile operatorsa, including by leveraging the know-how and integrated strengths of its OREC partners.
DOCOMO looks forward to deepening its cooperation with an expanding range of stakeholders, including overseas mobile operators, via the Shared Open Lab. DOCOMO is committed to working with its OREC partners to develop further technologies and know-how for the increased adoption of Open RAN, vRAN and other open networks capable of responding flexibly and quickly to diversifying needs in the worldwide mobile communication market.
The 13 members are AMD, Inc., Dell Technologies Japan Inc., Fujitsu Limited, Hewlett Packard Japan, G.K., Intel K.K., Mavenir, NEC Corporation, NTT DATA Corporation, NVIDIA, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., Red Hat, VMware K.K. and Wind River.
NTT DOCOMO, Japan’s leading mobile operator with over 83 million subscriptions, is one of the world’s foremost contributors to 3G, 4G and 5G mobile network technologies. Beyond core communications services, DOCOMO is challenging new frontiers in collaboration with a growing number of entities (“+d” partners), creating exciting and convenient value-added services that change the way people live and work.
Under a medium-term plan toward 2020 and beyond, DOCOMO is pioneering a leading-edge 5G network to facilitate innovative services that will amaze and inspire customers beyond their expectations.