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Taiwan, home of the largest ICT suppliers in the world, helps to accelerate time to market for open networks

Taiwan, global number-one OEM/ODM ICT manufacturing base in the world, is working closely with global Open RAN ecosystem partners to fulfill international telecommunication commercial market deployment needs.

Well-positioned with comprehensive ecosystem and strong support from government, Taiwan will team up with Telecom Infra Project (TIP) as the newest Community Lab in Asia to support qualified 5G products to the global market.

As Taiwan becomes the newest addition to TIP’s Community Lab in Asia, this virtual panel at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2021 is co-organised by Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), MOEA and TIP with advocates for open and disaggregated connectivity technology, including Indosat Ooredoo, Wistron NeWeb Corporation, Pegatron Corporation, Edgecore Networks Corporation and Compal Electronics to discuss the current state of 5G Open Networking and how Taiwan’s ICT industry can contribute.

Top-notch vendors in Taiwan are active in their respective Open RAN development. Pegatron Corporation General Manager of BU6 C Y Feng stated with the virtualisation of software structure, it makes system white box feasible. “There definitely will be traction,” said C Y Feng.

It is also backed by Edgecore Networks Corporation Vice President of Marketing and Product Management Matt Roman and he is expecting steep growth in open network solutions driven by trials and activities in the ecosystem, and another driver for this growth is fully validated solutions from the software ecosystem.

Furthermore, Wistron NeWeb Corporation CTO Horen Chen shared the company has developed RU, worked with other partners to enable DU, CU and intended to use open architecture in it private networks for manufacturing sites.

Compal Electronics Senior Director Aaron Chuang also shared that they have seen clients asking for all-in-one or open fronthaul products for flexible and large-scale deployment.

Interoperability and performance tests

As the first cellular operator in Indonesia that has conducted Open RAN field trials in Maluku region, Indonesia, Kees Van Peer, Senior Vice President, Head of Technology Strategy & Partnership of Indosat Ooredoo shared the positive results.

“The reason for us to pursue this openness in networks is because we’d like to push more innovation and quality improvement coming from the technology ecosystem and also being adaptive to any new technology development which enable customer experience enhancement,” said Kees Van Peer.

While open RAN tackles the challenges of more complex and flexible 5G networks, as panelists have shared, one of the biggest inhibitors for acceptance and roll-out of open network technology is to prove that it is interoperable with multiple vendors. Furthermore, once all the components are integrated, vendors will have to find out if the end-to-end (E2E) performance can achieve parity with the traditional close proprietary system.

TIP’s Community Lab

As the home of the largest ICT suppliers in the world, Taiwan launched its first “5G Open Network Lab” in August 2020 with support from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). It is a platform where vendors can access an open networking environment for testing, in hopes to offer operators the confidence that tested products can be integrated without a large overhead.

Taiwan’s 5G Open Network Lab further expands to include more carrier-grade cores to support qualified 5G products to the global market by joining forces with TIP to become the newest addition as a Community Lab in Asia.

Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Chief Engineer David Hutton said it is important to have a local lab environment for all the technology suppliers to utilize and be recognized by the TIP community, which is why we’re very pleased to have ITRI [supported by Industrial Development Bureau, MOEA] being approved as a TIP community lab.

Industrial Development Bureau (IDB)

Industrial Development Bureau (IDB) is the administrative agency of the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Taiwan. IDB serves the role to formulate industrial policies, and to oversee various industries including metal & mechanical, information technology, consumer goods & chemical, knowledge services, as well as sustainable development in Taiwan. In the past years, IDB has also been strongly supportive to the Taiwan Pavilion at global trade shows (such as MWC Barcelona), and for Taiwan’s vendors to demonstrate the capabilities of Taiwan ICT supply chain in the global marketplace.

Telecom Infra Project (TIP)

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) was formed in 2016 as an engineering-focused, collaborative methodology for building and deploying global telecom network infrastructure, with the goal of enabling global access for all.[1]

TIP is jointly steered by its group of founding tech and telecom companies, which forms its board of directors, and is chaired by Vodafone’s Head of Network Strategy and Architecture, Yago Tenorio. Member companies host technology incubator labs and accelerators, and TIP hosts an annual infrastructure conference, TIP Summit.[2]

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