Deutsche Telekom unveils €17 million il4y Open RAN lab in Berlin

Öecosystem of creators to nourish O-RAN and disaggregated designs

The three leading network operators in Germany and ökosystem of suppliers, researchers and testers need to develop their ideas in i14y, a lab and think tank designed to boost the growth of Open RAN and beyond into new types of disaggregated network architectures.

Telefónica Deutschland and Vodafone Deutschland contribute to events in Deutsche Telekom’s innovative Winterfeldstrasse campus. The laboratory has a grant of 17 million euros from the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) to fund the first three years of work on Open RAN integration and interoperability testing, which will be the main goal of the laboratory.

Public funding will cover the first three years

In June, DT announced that it had worked with NEC and Mavenir to test live 5G Open RAN mMIMO in Neubrandenburg. It says il4y will be “an end-to-end integration and performance testing environment and ultimately market-ready certification.” TelecomTV describes i14y as a Laboratory as a service with cultivations from the Berlin nursery, transferred from Telefónica and operated by Nokia satellite planting facilities in Düsseldorf and Munich.

The i14y lab is the culmination of one Open RAN MoU declared by DT, Orange, Telefónica, TIM (Telecom Italia) and Vodafone in June. DT says the lab is “critical to the rapid development of a German and European ecosystem from system component vendors, software vendors and system integrators”.

Private investors will sponsor research

The laboratory will have the ear of influential organs OCP (Open Compute Project), ONF (Open Network Foundation), ONAP (Open Network Automation Platform), the O-RAN alliance and on BAKSHISH (Telecom Infra project), according to DT.

Participants include the Berlin-based software-defined network BISDN, the Capgemini Engineering integrator, the Fraunhofer HHI (Heinrich Hertz Institute), the German Institute for Telecommunication Research and the Technical University of Berlin. All developments will be checked by test specialists EANTC and Rohde & Schwarz.

Rohde & Schwarz has announced that it is working with MediaTek to create test systems for Wi-Fi 6E devices by integrating its CMP180 radio communications testing platform into MediaTek’s ATE tool.