Orange Taps Parallel Wireless to Enable Open RAN in Central African Republic

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Parallel Wireless, Inc., a U.S.-based OpenRAN company delivering software-defined end-to-end 5G 4G 3G 2G Open RAN solutions, has announced that, in partnership with i engineering Group, the company has been selected by Orange within an overall multi-country program to extend the current coverage and to expand their current 700,000 subscriber base across the Central African Republic as the first deployment.

In Africa, Orange is implementing a program called IDEAL: Include Digital in Every African Life. This program aims to provide digital services to their customers who do not have any connectivity today.

Orange, one of the largest operators of mobile and internet services in Europe and Africa and a global leader in corporate telecommunication services, is the most recent company to join the Central African Republic telecom market, which is comprised of four operators.

Digital Transformation Innovation

Central African Republic is a digitally divided country with only 48% unique mobile connections and limited network infrastructure. Traditional 2G, 3G or 4G networks require expensive and bulky equipment to deploy and operate. These hardware-based networks are difficult and pricey to upgrade.

Parallel Wireless enables a shift to open, software-based, and virtualized OpenRAN network architectures to deliver scalable 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G software-based networks. These are cost-effective to deploy, maintain and can deliver the coverage and capacity to the end users and businesses across the country.

The Parallel Wireless OpenRAN has shown a very strong performance, quality of service and cost benefits on six continents with:

OpenRAN ecosystem of radio hardware that is software upgradable to any G and can support any 3GPP compliant RAN splits.

COTS-based vBBU to deliver scalable capacity for differentiated voice and data.

OpenRAN Controller software to lower the cost of RAN through simplification, automation via real-time SON, and full virtualization of networks. It also provides seamless mobility, local breakout, and low latency for the best subscriber experience for 2G voice and 3G/4G data.

The software enables OpenRAN architecture and DU/CU split by using standards-based and open interfaces between network components. It also simplifies network management and integration of new RAN products into the core of the network.

Orange’s strategic goal is to build and grow wireless networks across Africa, and to provide next-generation digital services to its customers in the region. Working in partnership with Parallel Wireless and i engineering Group, Orange will meet that goal by:

Building a world-class, cloud-based, 5G-ready Open RAN network based on Parallel Wireless high-performance, distributed architecture;
Improving service agility and reducing operational costs across geographically distributed sites, with the introduction of RAN automation;
Utilizing i engineering Group expertise in building and managing cell sites.

Hervé Suquet, CTIO, Orange Middle East & Africa, said, “Through our IDEAL program (Include Digital in Every African Life), at Orange, we provide reliable connectivity to our customers, backed by our innovative infrastructure. The combination of RAN openness and virtualization, automation and new revenue-generating opportunities will enable Orange to lead the market to meet the needs of our customers most effectively in Central African Republic. Indeed, thanks to this technology, Orange RCA will provide to rural populations the full range of services (voice, data and Orange Money), already provided in urban areas. Being able to run 2G and 3G on the same system today and, as our customers upgrade their devices to 4G in the future, seamlessly upgrade to 4G will help us not only extend our initial investment, but also bring new services much faster. Parallel Wireless is a well-known Open RAN player, and together with the deployment and managed services expertise from i engineering Group, they have become true strategic partners and the key enablers in us undertaking this unique network modernization.”

Kadri Hakim, Co-CEO, i engineering Group, said, “Innovation is a very important aspect for our business moving forward as we aim to develop innovative solutions for our customers. The focus of our cooperation with Parallel Wireless is to help to deliver on Orange’s vision of connecting businesses and people by using Parallel Wireless’s leading OpenRAN technology to allow everyone to enjoy wireless connectivity while future-proofing network investments for any forthcoming services.”

Bernard Lamy, Sales Director, Parallel Wireless, said, “Implementing our world’s leading Open RAN platform will allow Orange to enable new subscriber services to be deployed quickly, seamlessly and more reliably.”

 


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