Telecom Italia Group Tests vRAN Technology

The new solutions tested at the Turin TILab improve the quality of the mobile network and increase its efficiency

Barcelona, Spain – February 22, 2016 – In Turin, TIM – first in Europe and among the first companies in the world – successfully tested Virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) technology, which will improve the quality of the current mobile network, increase efficiency and prepare for future 5G.

The vRAN solution provided by Altiostar of Massachusetts (USA) was tested in the Turin TILab laboratories, demonstrating the first wireless access implementation providing centralisation and virtualisation of radio signals, even with Ethernet fronthauling. This solution will fully exploit the LTE Advanced benefits, to maximise speed, and eliminate interference between cells serviced by different base radio stations. The solution was tested with the 4G networks, but the system is ready to support forthcoming 5G.

In particular, the vRAN architecture features radio equipment of reduced size and consumption, positioned close to antennas and connected via the Ethernet network to signal processing units. This means that the new devices can be positioned in a remote location and virtualised on servers and no longer on dedicated hardware.

The test showed the efficiency of this technology, even for long-distance fronthauling connections: the configuration with radio modules installed in Rome and servers in Turin, was tested.

In this context, an open architecture was also defined for the development of SON (Self Organising Network) functions for automatic network configuration, which uses innovative operative and working methods with the design tools developed by TIM.

“TIM verified with this first phase of lab trial the real benefits of vRAN architecture. Once more TIM test among the first worldwide the most innovative and important technologies able to improve the performances of our network”, says Gabriela Styf Sjoman, Head Engineering & TILab for TIM. “Mobile network evolution calls for innovation speed to cope with exponential traffic growth. TIM wants to maintain its leadership in 4G and be prepared for 5G. vRAN is a key element to assure effective evolution of our wireless network, delivering top performances, maximum efficiency and quick delivery of new features”.

“vRAN is a key element in the evolution of the radio access network towards LTE Advanced and 5G,” said Ashraf M. Dahod, Chairman and CEO of Altiostar. “By investing in the right architecture, the most innovative operators can develop the future information highways. We appreciated TIM’s investment in testing our vRAN.”

About Telecom Italia Group

TIM is the single brand name for the whole Telecom Italia Group, the major ICT player and technological partner of digital Italy. Abroad its strength is Brazil, where TIM Brasil is a major player on the market.
Its portfolio includes telecommunications, internet, digital contents, cloud services, digital platforms, office and system solutions, offering everyone – consumers, enterprises and institutions – simple and safe tools for the new digital life. The company continues to invest in Italy in the development of infrastructures and the digitisation process of the country and, with its new strategic plan, it plans to make investments of around 6.7 billion euros in innovation, thus reaching 84% of the population with fibre and 98% with LTE mobile network by 2018″.