The world's first trial of an LTE network operated with equipment fully compliant with the ETSI Open Radio equipment Interface (ORI) standard has been performed successfully by Vodafone with support from Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories of Europe Limited, and Kathrein, it was announced today.
ORI is an interface standard that enables the base station's Base Band Unit (BBU) and Remote Radio Head (RRH) equipment from different vendors to interoperate together at the same mobile network site. This allows mobile operators to source the base station BBU and RRH equipment from different vendors, giving them greater market flexibility in the choice of equipment they can deploy. As a result, this will promote innovation in the performance and design of BBU and RRH equipment in mobile communications networks. The LTE base station used in the trial consisted of BBU equipment from Fujitsu and RRH equipment from Kathrein compliant to the ORI Release 1 standard, connected via optic fibre links. In addition, RRH equipment from Fujitsu was also connected and verified to support ORI. The ORI standard also supports LTE-Advanced and UMTS communication systems in Release 1, and support for GSM/GPRS communication systems and optimisation for C-RAN architectures has been included in Release 3 and 4 respectively. Luke Ibbetson, Director of R&D at Vodafone Group commented "The success of this trial demonstrates that ORI has the ability to become a key enabler to enhance the flexibility for mobile operators and vendors to get new base station innovations into mobile networks, and is an important strategic component for how Vodafone wishes to build its networks moving forward."c