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Mavenir Sees Rural Open RAN Opportunity As Rip-and-replace Ramps

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By Sean Kinney, Editor in Chief

The US Federal Communications Commission, in its effort to get Huawei, ZTE and other “untrusted” equipment out of domestic networks, will begin reimbursing rural and regional network operators for rip-and-replace costs in October. Lawmakers and federal agencies have put together a funding pool of US$1.895 billion to foot the bill for rebuilding networks. Montana’s Triangle Communications is working with Mavenir on a “turnkey” solution, including Open RAN hardware and software, a container-based virtualized Evolved Packet Core, and Mavenir’s webscale platform for cloud-based operations.

Triangle Communications is a cooperative founded in 1953. With a service area covering some 23,000-square-miles in Central Montana, Triangle provides internet, local, long distance, and mobile telephony to more than 17,000 subscribers.

Triangle Communications CEO Craig Gates said the company “is a firm believer in Open RAN…For us, the rip-and-replace mandate is an opportunity to replace network technology with future proof technology whilst removing vendor lock-in.”

According to Mavenir, it’s providing Triangle Communications with a vEPC, Open vRAN and it’s Mavenir Webscale Platform, which allows for public, private or hybrid cloud operations. Additionally, Mavenir will serve as the system integrator as Triangle removes Huawei equipment from its network.

Mavenir CEO Pardeep Kohli framed the deal with Triangle Communications as demonstrated “the confidence placed in virtualized networks, including the commercial readiness of Open RAN.” He said the long-awaited process of rip-and-replace provides an opportunity for U.S.-based vendors to take a front-seat role in “the global move to diversify the supply chains and future proof networks to avoid rip-and-replace scenarios that are caused by using proprietary vendor locked solutions.”

And while it’s not a mobile network and not subject to rip-and-replace mandates, Mavenir also recently announced a win with Oklahoma-based fixed wireless network operator 360 Communications. In this deal, Mavenir is providing Open RAN kit for deploying in the CBRS and EBS bands, as well as a Converged Packet Core solution.

Mavenir sees major opportunities in supply open network solutions into rural parts of the United States. VP of Sales for US Rural ISPs Loris Zaia said the company “created a team dedicated to understanding those challenges and helping rural ISPs overcome them.”

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