Virgin Media O2, NEC and Rakuten Symphony have announced that multi-vendor O-RAN is being deployed in Virgin Media O2’s network and is now operational and handling  commercial traffic.

The first deployments are in macro-sites in the Northamptonshire region.

“The successful activation of Virgin Media O2’s first UK macro-sites demonstrates the potential of the multi-vendor Open RAN model,” says Virgin Media O2 CTO Jeanie York, “we are strong believers in the power of diverse Open RAN ecosystems and in NEC, we have a partner that really shares our view. Its industry-leading system integration capabilities are integral in helping us deliver the mobile networks of the future, today.”

As O-RAN was conceived as a way to open up the telecoms infrastructure market after Huawei was banned by Western companies, the choice of a new chairman could become a political issue.