The U.K.’s Virgin Media O2 has selected Mavenir as its open radio access network (open RAN) vendor as well as its prime integrator to help transition its network to a cloud-native, virtualized RAN (vRAN) architecture.

In terms of vRAN, Mavenir’s software works on open interfaces supporting O-RAN Split 7.2x and Split 2. It further disaggregates into distributed unit (DU) and centralized unit (CU). These entities work as containerized network functions running on commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware containing Intel processors.
Mavenir’s vRAN is designed to support multiple fronthaul splits simultaneously, while leveraging Virgin Media O2’s network infrastructure assets.

Mavenir’s open RAN system for Virgin Media O2 will consist of fully virtualized L1 and L2 vRAN software and will operate on Intel Xeon Scalable Processors, along with Intel vRAN Accelerator ACC100 and Intel 800 series Ethernet adapters.

Of its new deal with Mavenir, Jeanie York, chief technology officer at Virgin Media O2, stated that by “digitalizing our networks, we’re seamlessly integrating our infrastructure to get more value from our existing assets.”

Open RAN radios

The delivery to Virgin Media O2 will also include Mavenir’s OpenBeam Radios as well as third-party open RAN based radio units for open fronthaul.

Mavenir CTO Bejoy Pankajakshan recently told Fierce, “Mavenir never intended to be in the hardware business. The original plan was to leverage radios from other players.”

He said the company had to pivot when relations soured between Western countries and China. There were several Chinese vendors that could supply open-RAN-compliant radios, but that became unacceptable. There are a number of non-Chinese radio vendors such as Fujitsu, NEC, KMW and MTI that can provide open RAN radios. “The only issue is there aren’t enough radios covering all bands and regions,” said Pankajakshan. “When there’s a gap we have to develop our radios.”

Mavenir has established a relationship with the Indian equipment maker Jabil to manufacture OpenBeam radios.

Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO at Mavenir, said: “The Mavenir OpenBeam radio portfolio fully complements Virgin Media O2’s full spectrum requirements, and we look forward to playing an active role in unlocking network automation and openness in the RAN.”

Mavenir transitions its marketing team

In other Mavenir news, the company is shifting its marketing and communications strategy from a centralized staff at its headquarters in Texas to a regional focus.

Fierce Wireless’ sister publication Silverlinings first reported last month that Mavenir’s North American marketing team was being laid off at the end of March and would be replaced by a crew in India.

And now, Mavenir’s SVP of Global Marketing and Corporate Communications Maryvonne Tubb has confirmed to Light Reading that she has been overseeing the company’s marketing strategy shift for the past several months and will soon depart the company.

Original article can be seen at: