Japanese telco KDDI has kicked off commercial deployment of its OpenRAN (O-RAN)-compliant 5G Open Virtual Radio Access Network (Open vRAN) sites in Japan.

Sites have been switched on in Osaka, with KDDI working with Samsung and Fujitsu to deploy the technology.

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KDDI has developed its 5G Open vRAN sites by using Samsung’s virtualized technology to address the increasing demands on traffic.

According to KDDI, it has updated the software of an O-RAN compliant 5G Open vRAN site, which it switched on in February 2022.

The Japanese telco notes that the radio units from Samsung's 5G virtualized CU (vCU) and virtualized DU (vDU) and Fujitsu's (MMU: Massive MIMO Units) are interconnected with an open interface.

In a press release, KDDI notes the potential of 5G but acknowledges that it puts a strain on the communications network, which is why the company has sought to develop O-RAN-compliant 5G Open vRAN sites using Samsung's virtualized solutions.

"By offering an open, wireless system, KDDI aims to contribute to the expansion of equipment procurement options and the construction of high-performance, cost-effective infrastructure," said the telco.

KDDI has further updated the software of the new sites to support the 5G NSA solution connected to existing 4G sites.

"As a result, customers with existing 5G NSA smartphones will be able to enjoy the same comfortable communication as before. Moreover, this is the world's first commercial MU-MIMO implementation with O-RAN compliant multivendor interoperability," claims KDDI.

The telco adds that along with Samsung and Fujitsu, it hopes to "expand the scope of application of this system in 2024 to realize full-scale deployment of Open vRAN sites".

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