Telefónica I+D to trial wireless virtualised RAN from Parallel Wireless in Europe
Written by: Laurence Doe | Published:

​Parallel Wireless, a cellular network deployment business, has announced a collaboration with Telefónica I+D – Telefónica's innovation unit – that includes an agreement to trial Parallel Wireless’ virtualised RAN (vRAN) solution to provide digital services in dense urban and remote areas in European markets.

The new partnership will advance Telefónica's ongoing innovation in rural and urban heterogeneous networks through Parallel Wireless’ vRAN, designed for ease of install and backhaul flexibility – with resilient wireless mesh and real-time network orchestration. Backhaul of varying capacity and latency is available at different times through LTE, satellite and Ethernet, providing a 150mb network using Parallel Wireless’ HetNet Gateway.

HetNet Gateway (HNG) from Parallel Wireless is a 3GPP-compliant SDN- and NFV-based carrier-grade network orchestrator to enable operators to both scale and grow multi-vendor multi-technology (3G, 4G, and Wi-Fi) networks.

Parallel Wireless is still involved in a previous project it started with EE back in early 2015 to connect more than 1,500 communities by the end of 2017. Its technology was successfully trialed in the Cumbria village of Sebergham, with all 129 households and small businesses receiving data and voice connectivity from only three ‘meshed’ small antennas.

“We are very grateful to EE because it recognized our innovation early on,” said a Parallel Wireless spokesperson. “Europe will be the next step [with Telefónica I+D]... we need to identify locations and the challenges with regulations.”

Such regulations include those surrounding antennas, as installing multiple antennas on a rural building requires a long approval process. To solve this, Parallel Wireless has come up with a design that bundles antennas into a single unit. This was used in its previous installations with EE.

The Parallel Wireless company spokesperson could not confirm that the UK would receive the vRAN solution at this time due to the sensitivity of current contracts. However, they said that it is planning an additional collaboration with another operator in September.

“As one of the innovative communication providers, Telefónica understands the true potential of improving coverage with global reach by embracing new network architectures, such as virtualisation,” said Steve Papa, founder and CEO, Parallel Wireless. “We are proud to have been selected for these innovation trials to connect the previously unconnected without making extensive capital investments associated with legacy network deployments. Low-cost wireless coverage will fuel economic growth, improve infrastructure, and reduce costs for consumers ensuring access to connectivity with the best technology and leaving nobody behind.”

Image: Parallel Wireless' 2016 Super Bowl deployment – winner of rural and remote deployment category at the Small Cell Forum Awards

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