Indosat is working with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and the GSMA to perform OpenRAN trials

Indonesian operator Indosat Ooredoo has announced that it is ready to trial OpenRAN tech later this month. These trials would mark the first of their kind in Asia.

Indosat is working closely with TIP and GSMA on the project, which ultimately aiming to reduce costs and boost the country’s digital growth.

As part of the project, Indosat has agreed to help create the first TIP Community Lab in Southeast Asia, which will be open for use by all national operators, as well as TIP members, to test and validate the projects services.

“Operators in Indonesia are taking a lead in driving digital transformation[…] This is also an important move for the APAC region and promises to be a reference for other operators to explore network technology innovation for increased diversity, security and flexibility in their supply chain,” said Julian Gorman, head of Asia Pacific for GSMA.

OpenRAN is picking up steam around the world, as operators increasingly question their reliance on traditional vendor tech. The cost savings of OpenRAN are, of course, the main driving factor, but the flexibility of its interchangeable components also mean it will be much easier to customise the networks to meet consumers’ needs. With the advent of 5G on the horizon, this will be especially important for the various new enterprises that are beginning to emerge.

“I think that flexibility is going to have a significant impact not only on direct to consumer but also enterprise offerings that operators have as well,” commented Attilio Zani, the executive director of TIP.

In South America, Parallel Wireless has been helping Internet para Todos to deploy hudrends of OpenRAN 4G sites throughout Peru, while the US is positioning OpenRAN as the only alternative to the 5G dominance of Huawei.

Meanwhile, in Europe, Vodafone and O2 are both testing OpenRAN solutions, with commercial deployment expected in around two years.

More recently, in Asia itself, newcomer Rakuten is singing the praises of OpenRAN and is expected to crash onto the Japanese scene in some style with an aggressive pricing strategy next month.

OpenRAN may well be in its infancy, but it is increasingly becoming a global phenomenon.

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