Benetel is to participate in the SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre (SONIC), a joint programme between the Digital Catapult and Ofcom which looks to validate the interoperability and integration of various OpenRAN solutions.

SONIC goes into operation in May 2021 and will combine comprehensive laboratory testing capabilities with small-scale implementation activities.

“Benetel is excited to be partnering with Digital Catapult and Ofcom in relation to the SONIC programme, and collaborating on real-world OpenRAN deployments. SONIC presents a highly effective platform to ensure OpenRAN deployment readiness for the UK 5G market,” said Adrian O`Connor, CEO of Benetel.

Benetel will provide SONIC with OpenRAN radio units (O-RUs) which will be integrated with products from other solution providers in order to demonstrate OpenRAN’s multi-vendor capabilities and the open ecosystem that it supports.

“We welcome Benetel’s involvement in SONIC. Our goal is to ensure multi-vendor OpenRAN interoperability and the availability of advanced, deployment-ready OpenRAN solutions to address the UK 5G market”, explained Joe Butler, CTO of Digital Catapult.

Benetel works with open initiatives, such as the O-RAN Alliance, the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA), the Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP), Open RAN Policy Coalition and now SONIC to provide RUs over fronthaul networks that interwork with virtualized baseband units. This open disaggregated RAN is seen as providing the backbone of next-generation mobile network infrastructure.