Oh Canada! Rogers trials Ericsson’s Cloud RAN at a Blue Jays game

  • Ericsson is working with Rogers on testing out cloud RAN

  • AT&T has already started to deploy Ericsson cloud RAN sites in Texas

  • Dell’Oro said that Ericsson could potentially move up the RAN ranks with cloud RAN

On Canada day, cellular operator Rogers swang for the fences with a commercial test of Ericsson’s 5G cloud radio access network (RAN) at the Toronto Blue Jays baseball game in Toronto.

Following on from AT&T’s deployment of some Ericsson cloud RAN sites outside of Dallas, Texas, earlier this year, and an open RAN deal with Ericsson late in 2023, Ericsson is now moving cloud RAN to slightly more Boreal regions.

The Rogers cloud RAN trial should provide the operator with more flexibiity and scalability in deploying 5G with white box x86 servers, rather than properitary Ericsson silicon and dedicated hardware. “This marks the first time this industry-leading technology has been deployed over a commercial network at a live event in Canada,” Ericsson noted in an annoucement.

“We have several customers globally who are commercially trialing and deploying Cloud RAN in their networks,” an Ericsson spokesperson told Fierce in an email. These include O2 Telefonica, Telstra, Verizon and more, she said, as well as AT&T and Rogers.

Will C-RAN earn the Canadian bacon?

“Cloud RAN is an important building block for the next generation of RAN architectures. It is currently projected to account for around a fifth of the overall RAN market by 2028,” Dell’Oro Group VP and RAN analyst Stefan Pongratz told Fierce. “In 2023, Ericsson was the fourth largest virtualized RAN [vRAN] supplier by revenue, and its position is expected to improve as more operators embrace Cloud RAN,” he added.

The Cloud RAN market size was valued at $11.1 billion in 2021, and is estimated to reach $85.9 billion by 2031, growing at a CAGR of 23.4% from 2022 to 2031, according to Allied Market Research. Huawei has the largest RAN market share in the world, including Cloud RAN too.

Still, Ericsson may stand to raise some Canadian bacon with Rogers and Cloud RAN as more of these white box systems roll out.

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