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KDDI announced that, in partnership with Samsung Electronics and Fujitsu Limited, it has initiated the commercial deployment of O-RAN compliant 5G Open Virtual Radio Access Network sites in Osaka City, Japan, on January 19.

The company said in a press release that the expansion of 5G services promises a variety of exciting new applications that offer the possibility of a more connected world, realized through the unprecedented speeds achieved with leading-edge communication technologies.

For the new sites, KDDI updated the software of an O-RAN-compliant 5G Open vRAN site that they     successfully turned on in February 2022.

Samsung's 5G virtualized CU (vCU) and virtualized DU (vDU) and Fujitsu's radio units (MMU: Massive MIMO Units) are interconnected with an open interface. Wireless controllers are equipped with fully virtualized RAN software on general-purpose servers to realize network functions, while wireless devices are both compact and lightweight and consume less power by utilizing high-efficiency, wide-band power amplification technology.

Core functions are implemented as software to enable flexible and efficient management of network resources. KDDI further updated the software of the new sites to support the 5G NSA solution connected to existing 4G sites and functions that were realized in conventional sites using dedicated equipment, including Multi-User MIMO (MU-MIMO). As a result, customers with existing 5G NSA smartphones will be able to enjoy the same comfortable communication as before.

Futhermore, the company said this is the world's first commercial MU-MIMO implementation with O-RAN compliant multivendor interoperability.

In addition, KDDI constructed a Zero-Touch Provisioning system to automate configuration tasks when the base stations start operating. The system automates the setup of servers and virtualized platforms from different vendors and contributes to rapid base station deployment nationwide, including in rural areas.

Based on the knowledge gained from the operation in Osaka City, the parties aim to expand the scope of system application in 2024 to realize full-scale deployment of Open vRAN sites and provide customers with an even faster and more comfortable communications environment.

Moving forward, KDDI, Samsung and Fujitsu will continue to develop solutions for Open vRAN in Japan and promote the nationwide deployment of 5G SA services for KDDI to provide customers with new experiences and contribute to business development.

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