TIM claims another Euro 5G first – live vRAN

The artist formerly known as Telecom Italia is refusing to slow down in the run up to Christmas, teaming with Altiostar to live test a virtual radio access network.

TIM reckons it’s the first in Europe and among the first in the world to achieve such a feat, which took place in Saluzzo, near to its labs in Turin and not to be confused with the main antagonist in The Godfather.

A virtual server in Turin coordinated a base station in Saluzzo – 60 kilometres away – and then kidnapped Tom Hagen in a bid to dissuade Sonny from overreacting to the attempt on his father’s life. Actually, no it didn’t, that’s The Godfather again. The real purpose of the trial was to show the ability to remotely control base stations over long distances without affecting connection and performance. This is all down to Ethernet fronthauling, apparently, and nothing to do with taking-out Luca Brasi.

The reason it’s good to be able to do this is to fully exploit LTE-A functionalities and maintain the steady march towards 5G by coordinating signals from various radio base stations, allowing all kinds of carrier aggregation goodness. This also requires the latest SON cleverness to enable automatic network configuration. Last week TIM managed to ramp its LTE-A network up to 500 Mbps, so it’s on a bit of a roll.

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