Telefonica Deutschland, which provides services under the brand name O2, says it has activated Germany’s first mini-radio cells with Open RAN technology in Munich. The firm said that the move will provide customers with more capacity and higher bandwidths at busy locations in city centres, such as squares, shopping streets and public transport stops, in the future. The mini-radio cells, attached to a building facade in Munich’s Gartnerplatz district, supplement the 4G/5G mobile network installed on rooftops in the city centre, but do not replace it. In addition to a power supply, the small cells required a connection via fibre-optics. The installation of pure 5G Open RAN mini radio cells (5G Standalone) will follow later this year, again in Munich.

‘With our Open RAN Small Cells, we are launching a model project for major German cities in Munich. From the customer’s point of view, they are a particular benefit where a particularly large number of people are out and about with their smartphones. Inconspicuously integrated into the streetscape and cityscape, they provide every customer with reliable access to a high-performance 4G network in many public places, and in the future also 5G,’ said Mallik Rao, CTO at Telefonica Deutschland. Open RAN is more software-based and offers significantly greater flexibility in the selection of manufacturers in the future, as less fixed infrastructure needs to be replaced or exchanged, since updating the software is largely sufficient to bring new services onto the network.

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