Peru joint venture deploys hundreds of parallel wireless OpenRAN sites in Latin America
Parallel Wireless Inc, a U.S.-based OpenRAN company, has deployed hundreds of programmable virtualised 4G OpenRAN sites to deliver mobile broadband in Latin America. It is doing this through Internet para Todos Peru (IpT Peru), a company launched in May 2019 and owned by Telefonica, Facebook, IDB Invest and CAF banks.
IpT Peru aims to provide internet connectivity to users in remote regions of Peru. Traditionally, high investment and operational cost and the deployment complexity of low-density deployments have prevented MNOs from bringing coverage to these areas. And, technological evolution has focused on scaling capacity for urban rather than on creating efficient downscaled solutions in areas with lower population.
As of today, IpT Peru has deployed hundreds of new sites in Peru using Parallel Wireless’ fully virtualised and automated OpenRAN architecture.
The technology brings much more flexibility and agility to the deployment and management of a telco access network. The Parallel Wireless OpenRAN Controller creates a multi-vendor, multi-operator, open ecosystem of interoperable components for the various RAN elements and from different vendors. All new radio units are self-configured by the software, reducing the need for manual intervention. The self-optimisation capability automates optimisation across different RANs in IpT Peru’s network, utilising available RAN data from all RAN types (macros and small cells). This creates an open business model, where MNOs can partner with local companies that focus on rural coverage to enable lean cost structure that fits the business case of targeting the long tail of the unconnected and operational simplicity.
However, openness and virtualisation also come with incremental levels of complexity that has to be managed to capture the value and not create new problems for operators. With this objective IpT Peru, Telefonica and Parallel Wireless have defined and implemented an operating model built on the principles of the data centre with continuous integration and continuous delivery (CI/CD) that helps to accelerate taking new functionalities to the market faster and safer than ever before, in an easy and automated way. This approach has helped to establish a new operating model to reduce IpT Peru’s OPEX, to be able to manage much faster product lifecycles and to speed up the deployment of new applications for coverage and capacity scenarios.
The predictive and automated CI/CD based-approach devised by Telefonica and utilised to certify the Parallel Wireless 4G OpenRAN Controller and network software suite, in contrast to the legacy reactive optimisation approach, improves time-to-market of new software features and user experience.
Renan Ruiz, CTO of IpT says, “We have selected Parallel Wireless OpenRAN to help us reduce our network deployment costs through disaggregation of hardware and software, RAN and core virtualisation and network automation with real-time SON for deployments across Latin America and 5G readiness. Telefonica was a pioneer in adopting cloud-native architectures and CI/CD models. With continuous delivery and deployment enabled by Parallel Wireless software, we are able to automate network deployments, make it an easy, push-button operation to deliver in our network the newest features and the newest functions. That allows us to give our customers new capabilities at the speed of software.”
Steve Papa, founder and CEO of Parallel Wireless comments, “As one of the innovative communication providers, Telefonica understands the true potential of software, virtualisation, and openness. We are proud to have been selected for these deployments in Latin America to deliver quality wireless services to the end users and businesses through better communication and collaboration between “development” and “operations” groups by enabling the CI/CD based operating model. The end goal is to help global MNOs build and release software at high velocity. without making extensive capital investments or incur ongoing maintenance cost associated with legacy network deployments. This will result in MNOs becoming fully virtualised telcos based on CI/CD models to automate deployments, save OPEX, and deliver new services faster.”