Open RAN to modernise existing infrastructure

26th February 2019
Posted By : Alex Lynn
Open RAN to modernise existing infrastructure

Software-based unified end-to-end network solution provider, Parallel Wireless, has announced that Zain has selected Parallel Wireless to modernise their existing 2G and 3G networks to deliver operational efficiency. According to the GSMA report, mobile broadband connections in the Middle East and North Africa reached parity with 2G before the end of 2016, with 3G becoming the dominant mobile technology at the end of last year.

This has created a challenge for local MNOs, requiring them to support both technologies, and at the same time prepare their networks for 4G and 5G.

A key goal of Zain’s modernisation initiative is to fully virtualise 2G and 3G networks through Parallel Wireless’ unified 2G/3G/4G/5G mobile architecture, not only to begin experiencing cost savings and operational efficiency, but also to future-proof their networks for 4G and 5G. 

Parallel Wireless’ innovative virtualised multi-technology Open RAN solution disaggregates hardware and software to make deployments easy and affordable to install, maintain and upgrade to any future technology with:

  • Converged Wireless System (CWS), the all-in-one multi-technology software-defined GPP-based base station that allowed Zain to replace legacy 2G and 3G systems, to run 2G and 3G simultaneously on the same base station, and to provide superior data and voice services to Zain customers. Multi-technology CWS nodes are easy to deploy and maintain, and enable a clear technology evolution from 2G to 3G/4G/5G. In addition, using resilient wireless mesh for backhaul, CWS eliminates the need to provide more expensive transport.
  • HetNet Gateway (HNG) is an ALL G software platform that virtualises ALL G RAN and core functions (vBSC for 2G, vRNC for 3G, small cell and core gateways for 4G) to lower the cost of RAN through simplification and automation of ALL G networks. It also provides seamless mobility and low latency for the best subscriber experience for Zain customers on 2G and 3G today, and on 4G and 5G in the future. The HNG software enables an Open RAN architecture by using standard-based and open interfaces between network components and, as a result, simplifies and automates network management and integration of new RAN products into the core of the network with real-time SON.

Hisham Allam, Group CTO, Zain, said: “We believe that virtualised Open RAN offers tremendous growth opportunities for Zain to reduce costs and drive new revenue growth. Our selection of Parallel Wireless as a strategic partner enables us to build an efficient, unified, cost-effective network to better service our customers with video, gaming, health, IoT, and education services. Parallel Wireless provided a level of expertise and innovation across unified fully virtualised Open vRAN that allowed us to experience significant savings.”

Amrit Heer, Head of Business Development, EME, Parallel Wireless, added: “Operators on six continents have realised the transformative cost-saving benefits that Parallel Wireless virtualised Open RAN can deliver to their networks and their bottom line. We are excited to partner with Zain, a truly innovative operator that is a first-mover in their region, to deliver a unified network to allow their customers to experience the new services that will be possible over all generations of technologies, 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G.”


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