The vendor-neutral and interoperable equipment OpenRAN delivers is seen as being the solution to disrupting the perceived monopoly held by the large telecoms vendors—helping to drive innovation, improve security, offer flexibility, and reduce deployment costs.
SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) is a joint programme between Ofcom and Digital Catapult for testing the interoperability and integration of open networking solutions.
Joe Butler, Chief Technology Officer at Digital Catapult, said:
“SONIC will foster an ecosystem in the UK of large and small telecoms suppliers, with multiple providers for each element in the technology stack.
Providing a neutral environment for testing and demonstration with eight solution providers will surface the opportunities and challenges of interoperability.
We will collectively learn what works and what does not in terms of integration, technology, and processes.”
The eight solution providers joining SONIC are Accelleran NV, Phluido Inc, Effnet AB, Benetel Ltd, Mavenir, Foxconn, NEC, and Radisys. More providers are set to join the initiative.
Simon Saunders, Director of Emerging & Online Technology at Ofcom, added:
“With the first vendors on board and more expected to follow, this is an exciting step in the journey of the SONIC project.
SONIC offers a unique opportunity to shape what the UK’s supply chains of the future could look like and support innovation. So we encourage companies across the telecoms industry to express their interest in participating.”
Participating vendors and integrators in the SONIC initiative are seeking to learn and share best practices for building new products and solutions. SONIC enables participants to experiment with multiple 5G OpenRAN deployments across multiple architectures including the implications of cloud and virtual.
SONIC is scheduled to be operational from May 2021.
Interested parties can register to join SONIC here.
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