NEC Corporation has announced the provision of radio units (RU) for 5G base station equipment to NTT DOCOMO. NEC began shipping three types of small-cell RU that support the 3.7, 4.5 and 28GHz bands and are compliant with O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications.
These RUs are compact, light-weight and low power consumption, which is achieved by NEC's highly efficient heat transfer technology. This reportedly makes it easy to install the RU on the rooftops and walls of buildings, thereby reducing installation and operation costs.
In providing diverse services with 5G, it will be required to deploy networks where various devices are connected in an optimal and efficient way. To realise this, RUs are required to connect to various vendors' central units (CUs) by using interface features.
In collaboration with DOCOMO, NEC has been developing products that are compliant with O-RAN fronthaul interfaces, an open interface, for 5G. NEC products will contribute for flexible 5G network deployments and support diverse use cases.
"DOCOMO is leading the development of O-RAN and contributing to the creation of specifications in order to realise the open architecture of RAN. By utilising base stations that support open interfaces, we will flexibly and efficiently deploy 5G networks that meet various use cases, such as the B2B2X businesses in the 5G era. NEC's RU is expected to contribute to this construction," said Hiroshi Nakamura, Executive Vice President and Member of the Board of Directors of NTT DOCOMO, INC. "Continuing to deploy and expand 5G networks, we will accelerate the co-creation of 5G services and markets with vertical industry partners."
Atsuo Kawamura, Executive Vice President and President of the Network Services Business Unit at NEC Corporation, added: "NEC is delighted to be providing a variety of base stations that conform to open interfaces in order to enable the development of flexible networks for DOCOMO's 5G services. Going forward, NEC will continue to work on the development and expansion of 5G networks."
NEC participates in DOCOMO's ‘5G Open Partner Program’ as part of its ongoing provision of base stations and demonstration systems for DOCOMO 5G Open Lab, as well as co-creation activities for the establishment of new 5G services.