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Etisalat has announced the successful launch of open virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN), becoming the first operator in MENA to achieve this technological feat. By supporting Open architecture, Open vRAN technology accelerates the delivery of mobile networks. The technology is the foundation of next-generation wireless infrastructure driven by innovation and open standards.

Today’s announcement demonstrates Etisalat’s strong commitment to sustaining its technological leadership, by bringing in such technological advances. Etisalat has become one of the first operators worldwide to launch this technology.

The success of this deployment by Etisalat was possible with the collaboration of Etisalat partners Altiostar, NEC, Cisco and other leading vRAN technology vendors. The solution combines scalability enhancement and virtual networks achieved by integrating equipment from various vendors. Using commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware from third parties, Etisalat is transforming the hardware network to a software-based one.

The vRAN architecture approach decouples the programmable RAN software elements from the hardware, allowing generally available hardware (generic pre-processer) and server platforms to process the RAN software. This results in deployment flexibility, scalability, agility, energy efficient networks through reducing hardware elements on the network.  Open vRAN approach reduces time to market, as it is quicker to deploy mobile networks than traditional deployment methods.  Additionally, network capacity augmentation and optimisation is enhanced by the simplification of nodes and enabling new automated methods and AI algorithms.

Saeed Al Zarouni, Senior Vice President, Mobile Network at Etisalat, said: “Keeping in line with Etisalat’s strategy of ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’, deploying the Open vRAN is vital in enabling digital transformation aimed at increasing efficiencies and the utilisation of AI. Today’s announcement is aligned with UAE’s objectives of achieving digital transformation with the deployment of best-in-class technologies. Etisalat now plans to roll out Open vRAN across the UAE to take full advantage of all the benefits that this new technology offers.”

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