Türk Telekom adds xApps, 5G massive MIMO to Open RAN trial

Open RAN vendor Parallel Wireless says it has expanded its collaboration on Open RAN initiatives with Türk Telekom to include its energy-saving xApps solution and AMD-based 5G massive MIMO solution in the operator’s trial cluster.

Türk Telekom has already integrated Parallel Wireless’s Open RAN 2G, 3G, 4G technology within its field trial infrastructure, with 5G technology currently under lab evaluation.

The expansion includes the addition of Parallel Wireless’s GreenRAN xApps, which are designed to help network operators optimise power consumption by adapting to fluctuating traffic demands. Parallel Wireless says the GreenRAN suite provides companies with power-saving applications as an additional layer, running on an O-RAN-compliant near real-time radio intelligence controller (RIC) platform.

This enables Türk Telekom to enhance network performance, coverage, and energy efficiency while maintaining network performance and end-user QoE, said Steve Papa, founder and CEO of Parallel Wireless.

“Layering our GreenRAN xApps technology on top of what’s currently deployed allows us to support Türk Telekom in their journey to test and implement innovative industry developments,” Papa said in a statement.

Türk Telekom is an early adopter of Open RAN technology. In 2022, it launched a multivendor Open RAN initiative with Parallel Wireless and Juniper Networks to put together a trial Open RAN solution for testing in Türk Telekom’s Innovation Centre, as well as field environments. Juniper supplied the RIC for that initiative, while Parallel Wireless provided the Open RAN software.

“As our network grows, we are always looking for new industry developments and the best technology to allow us to stay at the forefront of advancements, to ensure superior optimization and scalable operations, while enhancing the experience for our users,” said Türk Telekom CEO Ümit Önal. “This opportunity is a win for operators who can use Open RAN to optimize network coverage and power consumption.”

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TM One opens two labs to develop enterprise 5G digital services

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COAI says TRAI’s tough EMF radiation rules hurt 5G rollouts

The Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) has reportedly asked the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) to relax its electromagnetic field (EMF) radiation rules to help lower the cost of 5G rollouts.

According to The Hindu Business Line, COAI has sent a letter to TRAI complaining that its standards for limiting radiation exposure levels are 10 times more stringent than global standards set by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

This impacts the cost of rollouts because 5G uses higher frequency bands, which means 5G base stations need more power to transmit signals, which means higher EMF radiation levels, the letter said. Under TRAI’s EMF standards, 5G base stations would have to transmit at lower power. That means less coverage, which in turn means deploying more base stations to fill the gaps.

That, plus the very limited use cases for 5G (and therefore limited revenue streams), is making it hard for operators to recoup their 5G investments, which so far has totalled over INR1 trillion (US$12 billion), the letter said.

“It is important to note here that the current EMF exposure limits in India are significantly stricter (10 times) than the ICNIRP norms, and if not revised, will severely harm consumer experience and expectations from 5G in India,” the COAI letter said. “This will adversely deteriorate 5G leading to slower internet speed, lower network quality and inferior signal strength. In addition, this will also impact all potential aspects to enhance the wireless infrastructure and deployment of 5G, including spectral efficiency and network topology.”

The ICNIRP’s guidelines for 5G, issued in 2020, account for the fact that the higher frequencies for 5G do not penetrate the human body as deeply as lower frequencies. The ICNIRP also noted that 5G’s use of beamforming can reduce overall exposure to EMF radiation in a given cell.

At the time, ICNIRP said that while 5G generally complied with its original 1998 EMF guidelines, 5G is still an evolving technology. As such, the ICNIRP’s updated 2020 guidelines are set well below minimum safety levels to protect health, and add a few changes, including “whole body average restrictions for frequencies above 6 GHz, restrictions for brief (less than 6 minutes) exposures for frequencies above 6 GHz, and the reduction of the averaging area for frequencies above 6 GHz.”

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Kazakhtelecom to sell mobile unit MTS to Power International Holding

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B2B platform Zandaux launches African e-commerce marketplace

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Ericsson showcases range of new software, hardware

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TM and Maybank Islamic launch 5G-powered banking-as-a-service

Telekom Malaysia (TM) and Maybank Islamic announced on Thursday that they have partnered to create what they’re billing as Malaysia’s first Islamic banking-as-a-service (BaaS) solution powered by 5G.

Targeted at both consumers and micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), the partnership aims to bundle Maybank Islamic’s financial services with TM’s Uni5G Postpaid Biz service.

“While the technology originates from the BaaS concept, what makes it unique is its adherence to Islamic principles, making it the pioneering example of its kind in Malaysia,” said Maybank Islamic CEO Dato’Mohamed Rafique Merican in a statement. “It combines modern technology with the ethical requirements of Islamic finance, providing innovative and faith-based financial services.”

The first offering out of the gate is ‘Go Niaga’, a mobile business banking bundle designed to help MSMEs manage finances, improve incomes and offer digital payment options. Banking services include accounts and credit facilities tailored for MSMEs, as well as payment acceptance facilities through Maybank Islamic’s QRPay Biz, and Tap2Phone, which enables cloud POS via mobile devices to facilitate digital/card payments.

The Go Niaga bundle includes any of Unifi’s three Uni5G Postpaid Biz packages, along with free 5G mobile devices, which TM says will ensures secure access to financial services, as well as bring 5G capabilities to more communities.

Shanti Jusnita Johari, chief commercial officer for Consumer Strategy & Business at Unifi said the bundle – which is being offered via its digital business solutions arm, Unifi Business – will address current market gaps among the MSME segment, and enable businesses to better leverage e-commerce and expand their customer reach.

“MSMEs are a key growth engine for the nation’s economy. At present, this segment accounts for nearly 38% of Malaysia’s GDP, yet their potential is often dimmed by limited access to digital tools and financial services,” she said in a statement. “This is even more apparent among underserved segments, micro and small businesses who face the most challenges in accessing financial services and digital innovations that are necessary to elevate their lives and livelihoods.”

Maybank Islamic’s Rafique also described the partnership as a significant step forward in financial inclusion.

“By embedding Maybank Islamic’s BaaS solutions within Unifi Business’ platforms, previously unbanked or underbanked individuals and businesses will gain access to Maybank’s essential financial services and 5G mobile connectivity through TM’s cutting-edge technologies,” he said.

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