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Dutch-based United Group is going to test Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) technology in cooperation with Parallel Wireless. The network of Bulgarian provider Vivacom will apply the new network solution. This should show how the performance of ORAN compares with traditional SRAN.

ORAN is a relatively new development in the telco market. Unlike SRAN, this application is no longer completely dependent on a telco company’s hardware and software stack. ORAN promises to offer compatibility with software from outside this ecosystem, allowing “conventional” IT companies to enter this market and provide some much-needed competition.

Parallel Wireless describes itself as a leader in the ORAN movement. “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.

Broad support

The promised test in Bulgaria will support cellular networks on 2G, 4G and 5G. It seeks to put ORAN’s power to the test in both urban and rural areas. The objective: to demonstrate comparable or better performance than the traditional SRAN structure.

CEO at Vivacom (which is part of United Group) Nikolay Andreev believes ORAN will bring more diversity and innovation to the mobile radio network sector. “This technology will provide flexibility and competitiveness for [telco] operators, and improved services for customers. We hope this trial will be the first step in delivering ORAN technology to Bulgaria.”

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