Luis MartinGarcia

Four Major Operators Collaborate through the Telecom Infra Project to Disaggregate Cell Site Technology

Vodafone, Telefonica, Orange, and TIM Brazil define the next generation of open, disaggregated and interoperable devices for cell sites.

Four major, global telecoms operators have collaborated through the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) to define the next-generation of a critical device within the mobile network which connects the equipment that serves people’s phones to the rest of the operator network, the Disaggregated Cell Site Gateway.

As networks evolve to 5G, this collaboration will offer an infrastructure option that is more open and that offers more choices, faster innovation, and cost efficiencies, supporting customer growth and increased demand for data. Additionally, disaggregated open systems allow global mobile operators to realize a faster time-to-market.

The global mobile operators have laid out the foundation of such devices that are open, disaggregated, interoperable, and supplier-neutral. These are critical aspects in building the next-generation mobile networks because they provide the ability to choose the best technology blend available at any point in time, without being locked into a particular choice thereafter.

The effort was started by Vodafone as part of the TIP Open Optical & Packet Transport Project Group. Since its inception earlier this year, the Group has brought together three additional mobile operators with an innovation mindset – Orange, Telefonica and TIM Brazil – who have collaborated closely to define the technology and specifications. Some of these operators have now issued Requests for Information (RFI) seeking information from potential supplier partners on various aspects of the system including hardware, network operating system, protocol support, dynamic configurability, and manageability, leveraging the existing ecosystem of software, hardware and system integrator partners.

Two of the supplier partners – ADVA Optical Networking and Edgecore Networks – have already started working on the design and contribution to TIP of Odyssey-DCSG, the first device that meets the technical specification, and are committed to take the technology to market. Telecom Infra Project invites other technology vendors to join this initiative and make contributions to shape the future of mobile infrastructure technologies that will provide fast, affordable, and reliable internet access to people around the world for decades to come.