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Etisalat highlighted its plans to accelerate OpenRAN realisation as part of its cloud native NaaS transformation. Haitham Abdulrazzak, chief technology officer, Etisalat participated in an Open RAN conference conducted at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona; the annual trade show dedicated to the mobile communications industry being held from 28th June until 1st July 2021.

In 2020, Etisalat UAE deployed the first OpenRAN based mobile network cluster in the MENA, as one of the early adopters of the technology worldwide. Since then, the company embarked on an expanded scope to develop OpenRAN further on the network in the UAE.

During the conference he reflected on the efforts Etisalat has taken in adopting OpenRAN, “Etisalat has taken early strides going beyond research and development, leading the implementation of OpenRAN in UAE. Together with global stakeholders and partners, we are committed to advance a combined OpenRAN and MEC ecosystem development.”

“As a leading operator within the region, Etisalat’s appetite for new development stretches our vision to draw value from upcoming technologies by early realisation and contribution in the development processes. OpenRAN as part of our cloud native NaaS transformation will disrupt the ecosystems in mobile communications to the benefit of the industry.”

Etisalat has also made immense developments in the access network by developing state of the art AI, ML and automation platform A3. The platform is designed with OpenRAN and MEC requirements in mind, accommodating OpenRAN on 4G, 5G and future technologies.

“A3 is our flagship in achieving our OpenRAN vision, including zero touch across provisioning, optimisation, operations and planning, etc,” said Abdulrazzak.

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