KDDI launches 5G standalone Open RAN in Japan with Samsung kits

The Japanese telco's first 5G standalone Open RAN is powered by Samsung's virtualised central and distributed units and Fujitsu's radio units.
Written by Cho Mu-Hyun, Contributing Writer

Japanese telecom giant KDDI said on Friday it has deployed the world's first commercial 5G standalone open radio access network (Open RAN) in Japan.

The network, now available in the city of Kawasaki at Kanagawa Prefecture, is powered by Samsung's virtualised central units and virtualised distributed units as well as Fujitsu's massive MIMO radio units.

Samsung's baseband and Fujitsu's massive MIMO radio units are connected with an open interface, the telecom giant said.

The site at Kawaski also has network slicing and multi-access edge computing capabilities, which will offer higher speeds and lower latency for mobile users, the company said.

KDDI said the use of virtualisation and Open RAN technologies, which use software that can operate on commercial off-the-shelf servers to replace previously hardware elements, will bring flexibility and agility to its network with deployment being more cost-effective.

The launch of the network will also allow the company to accelerate deployment of Open RAN across Japan, including in rural areas, which it will continue to do with Samsung and Fujitsu throughout 2022, the teleco said.

Prior to Samsung becoming the 5G network equipment supplier for KDDI, the pair had already been collaborating on related technologies since 2017. Last year, the South Korean tech giant also announced it was supplying its 5G kit to NTT Docomo, Japan's largest telco.

Samsung, a vocal supporter of vRAN and Open RAN technologies, has also provided its vRAN solutions in the US and the UK for Open RAN rollouts there.

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