United Group’s Vivacom Picks Parallel Wireless to Test ORAN in Bulgaria

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United Group and Parallel Wireless have agreed to trial new Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) technology in Bulgaria using Vivacom’s network, the country’s leading mobile network operator, which is owned by United Group.

US-based Parallel Wireless is a leading provider of ORAN technology that encapsulates all generations of cellular connectivity, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G. The trial in Bulgaria will include ORAN 2G, 4G, and 5G and will include a cluster of sites that demonstrates the successful implantation of ORAN networks in both urban and rural environments.

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The purpose of the trial is to show equivalent or improved performance compared to traditional radio access networks (SRAN). The trial will consist of both lab and in-field tests to ensure the technology can perform across Bulgaria and on Vivacom’s existing network.

Vivacom Picks Parallel Wireless

“ORAN brings opportunities for greater vendor diversity and much-needed innovation in the mobile radio network sector,” said Nikolay Andreev, CEO of Vivacom. “This technology will provide flexibility and competitiveness for operators, and improved services for customers. We hope this trial will be the first step in delivering ORAN technology to Bulgaria.”

Until recently, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) had to rely on vendors to supply the full RAN infrastructure, including hardware and software. ORAN disaggregates hardware and software components, which grants MNOs flexibility to build their networks using non-proprietary subcomponents from a variety of different vendors.

“Bulgaria is a great place to showcase the benefits of ORAN demonstrating its flexibility and agility, allowing United Group & Vivacom the freedom to choose its vendors without being locked in with one specific vendor”, said Steve Papa, Founder & CEO of Parallel Wireless.

Dutch-based United Group is a telecommunications and media operator in South-East Europe. Active in eight countries, the company has more than 15 million users and nearly 15,000 employees. It generates almost €2.7 billion in annual revenues. United Group has the widest network coverage in the region and offers users the most attractive selection of TV content from around the world. Significant investments in digital infrastructure, content and technology ensure the excellence of the products and services it provides to customers. United Group has been majority owned by BC Partners, one of the largest global investment companies, since March 2019.

US-based Parallel Wireless’s ALL G (2G, 3G, 4G, 5G) Open RAN software platform has been deployed with global Mobile Network Operators from across six continents and forms an open, secure, and intelligent RAN architecture to deliver wireless connectivity, so all people can be connected whenever, wherever, and however they choose.