Parallel Wireless partners with Axiata to provide O-RAN networks for the digital telcos across Asia

Parallel Wireless is been selected by Axiata Group Berhad as a strategic partner providing O-RAN networks for the group’s digital telcos across Southeast Asia and South Asia, enabling both 2G and 4G broadband connectivity.

Headquartered in Malaysia, Axiata is one of the leading Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) in Asia operating digital telcos, digital businesses and infrastructure with a vision to be the Next Generation Digital Champion by 2024.

Through digital telco operations in Malaysia (Celcom), Indonesia (XL), Sri Lanka (Dialog), Bangladesh (Robi), Cambodia (Smart) and Nepal (Ncell) serving approximately 157 million customers, Axiata is preparing to offer 2G and 4G wireless broadband connectivity from the same radio utilizing 1800 MHz spectrum, providing voice and data services using leading edge technology.

This trial was unique, as it included replacing incumbent infrastructure with Parallel Wireless Open RAN solutions where planning, design, commissioning, integration, testing, and optimization was performed remotely by the team amid Covid-19 restrictions.

A single radio unit with 4G and 2G technology was installed, with baseband on a SuperMicro Intel x86 COTS platform and other centralized applications were installed on Axiata’s existing OpenStack cloud infrastructure. The 3-Sector, 4-Sector and 6-Sector field trials were flawless, carrying commercial traffic and demonstrating quality network performance on par with incumbents. Axiata is targeting commercial deployment in Q4 2021.

Along with our expertise in deploying Open RAN networks, Parallel Wireless will partner with a broad ecosystem of suppliers for cost-effective solutions. By partnering with an ecosystem of vendors, Parallel Wireless can provide lower cost, high quality hardware, agility of deployments, and innovative services. Our partners include:

  • Standalone Open RAN radios from partners such as GigaTera Communications and Comba Telecommunications (“Comba Telecom” or “the Group,” Hong Kong stock code: 2342) providing 2G and 4G services from the same radio over 1800 MHz spectrum.
  • Servers provided by SuperMicro.

Working in partnership with Parallel Wireless, Axiata will be able to expand and grow their wireless networks, providing next-generation digital services to customers throughout Asia by:

  • Building an O-RAN, cloud-native, Open RAN world-class network solution, which is based on Parallel Wireless’s high-performance, distributed architecture.
  • Leveraging their OpenStack cloud infrastructure to deploy an NFVi Open RAN controller.
  • Improving service agility and reducing overall Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) across geographically distributed sites, with the introduction of RAN automation.

Thomas Hundt, Executive Vice President – Technology at Axiata, said, “We are committed to Open RAN and this trial proves that Open RAN solutions can be deployed on COTS and cloud infrastructure, whilst at the same time meeting Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This enables us to expand and enhance customer experience with 2G and 4G broadband services throughout our footprint in Asia, especially expanding coverage into currently underserved markets.”

Keith Johnson, President of Parallel Wireless said “We are honored to partner with Axiata, replacing their incumbent vendors equipment with our leading-edge Open RAN Solution to enable 2G and 4G broadband services in Sri Lanka and with other Axiata subsidiaries. We are thrilled that the trials are successful, and we look forward to the commercial deployments in 2021.”

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