Germany’s fledgling fourth mobile operator, 1&1, has completed 5G tests under realistic conditions and is on course to launch commercial 5G services for home customers by the end of this year, following with mobile users in 2023.
The company claims its Open RAN network performed well above expectations, reaching 1Gbps downstream and touching latencies close to 3ms.
The operator is obliged by licence conditions associated with the 5G spectrum it acquired in 2019 to cover 50% of Germany’s population with 5G services by 2030.
Owned by United Internet, the company currently offers wireless services via an MVNO deal with Telefónica Deutschland. Its network will be based on the platform devised by Rakuten Symphony and Symphony will also offer design, systems integration, deployment and operation services.
Symphony’s CEO, Tareq Amin, recently revealed some of the Rakuten technology partners that will work with 1&1. Unsurprisingly, RAN software will come from Altiostar and the cloud platform from Robin.io – both of which Symphony owns. The RAN basebands, IMS and core will all run on the Robin.io private cloud.
Symphony will also provide OSS and other apps from its Symworld store for accounting, configuration, fault management, performance management and security.
Amin named NEC as the primary radio provider for 1&1, as it is for Rakuten Mobile in Japan, on whose Open RAN network the Symphony proposition is based. Cisco will provide IP transport and Mavenir some core network elements. Mavenir is the only publicly revealed supplier to 1&1 that does not also supply Rakuten Mobile, and in the RAN space it competes with Symphony’s Altiostar.