STL, an integrator of digital networks, has announced a collaboration with Facebook Connectivity to design and develop 4G and 5G radio products as part of the Evenstar program to help accelerate the commercial deployment of Open RAN and boost 5G readiness for operators around the world.
Over the last few years, STL has been developing open, disaggregated, virtualized and programmable solutions for the access side of the network. STL recently launched a suite of open networking products, covering 5G wireless products like Garuda (indoor small cells), 5G multi-band macro radios and Wi-Fi 6 carrier-grade access solutions. These offerings are being tested with top tier telcos in the U.S., UK and APAC.
The Evenstar program is a collaborative effort by Facebook Connectivity and global industry partners to accelerate the adoption of Open RAN technology. Through this collaboration, STL will build two advanced, high-power macro radio products. The first one is an O-RAN compliant radio providing higher capacity for dense deployments. As part of this engagement, STL will also develop an O-RAN compliant 4G+5G Dual Technology Radio that supports both technologies individually or/and concurrently. These 3GPP and O-RAN compliant radio products will be developed over the next year and will enable telecom operators around the world to scale up commercial deployments of open networking infrastructure and prepare their networks for Open RAN 5G.
Talking about this development, Jaydeep Ranade, Director of Wireless Engineering for Facebook Connectivity, said that the Evenstar program is a part of their efforts to accelerate the availability and commercial readiness of Open RAN solutions, and they are excited to have STL on board. He also said that they look forward to working with STL to continue shifting the industry towards open, disaggregated and more vendor agnostic 5G networks.
Commenting on this collaboration, Chris Rice, CEO Access Solutions Business, STL, said that they are delighted to support and contribute to the Evenstar program to develop 3GPP and O-RAN compliant radio products. He added that through this collaboration, STL extends its existing commitment towards creating a robust, open and disaggregated, access network ecosystem. By enabling an open networking infrastructure through efforts like this one, they are enabling global telecom service providers to take the power of 5G technology to billions of people worldwide at lower cost points.