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DOCOMO and NEC successfully test 5G Standalone with base station conforming to O-RAN specifications in a multi-vendor configuration

NTT DOCOMO and NEC have succeeded in interoperability testing for 5G standalone (SA) using a 5G base station baseband unit (5G CU/DU) conforming to O-RAN open interface specifications and radio units (RUs) of different vendors. The multi-vendor interoperability test used a software upgrade to introduce SA capability to NEC’s 5G non-standalone (NSA) CU/DU operating on DOCOMO’s commercial network. As a result, the system was transformed from a 5G NSA system into a 5G SA system using the same 5G CU/DU hardware. Since the 5G CU/DU can also accommodate existing NSA, the unit can be used to flexibly and quickly upgrade a 5G network.

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The SA system enables network operators to flexibly provide services that take advantage of 5G features, such as eMBB (enhanced Mobile Broadband), mMTC (massive Machine Type Communication), and URLLC (Ultra-Reliable and Low Latency Communications), enabling support for the diverse demands of 5G, including the enhancement and sophistication of solutions for corporate customers. As the lineup of interoperable 5G base station devices expands through multi-vendor connectivity, coverage areas can be flexibly designed according to the number of users and services by taking advantage of each vendor’s strengths. This is expected to enable the rapid deployment of 5G coverage areas.

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