NEC collaborates to bring mobile coverage on Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) region

NEC Australia, subsidiary of NEC Corporation, has been recently selected to participate in Phase One of the Department of Regional New South Wales (DRNSW) Mobile Coverage Project (MCP) Active Sharing Partnership leveraging Open RAN technologies.

This project aims to improve mobile coverage where people live and work in rural and regional NSW. The objectives are to establish commercial and delivery model solutions for active sharing, investigate the application of different technical and deployment scenarios and deliver mobile coverage in NSW.

The NSW Government has committed $300 million for the Mobile Coverage Project to be delivered across multiple stages. In the Stage 1 they will invest $50 million towards the Active Sharing Partnership’s delivery. The Active Sharing Partnership is being delivered in two phases – Phase One (design) and Phase Two (delivery).

Eight companies were selected following an RFP that closed in January this year for Phase One of the Active Sharing Partnership. In addition to Open RAN, other active sharing models are being trialled as part of Phase One, including MOCN (Multi-Operator Core Network), MORAN (Multi-Operator Radio Access Network), and Roaming. In this phase NEC and other industry players, including MNOs, will collaborate to identify and design Open RAN-based active sharing solutions that could be implemented in Phase Two to address mobile blackspots across regional NSW.

Successful participants from Phase One of the program may be invited to submit funding requests to implement active sharing solutions in Phase Two, expected to commence later in 2022. Results from the initial $50 million investment will inform a broader rollout underpinned by the remaining $250 million committed to the program by the NSW Government.

“NEC is uniquely positioned as a leading network product and solution provider with extensive expertise and insightful understanding of Open RAN technology’s benefits. Capitalising on our global experiences with operators as well as government-led initiatives such as NeutrORAN in the UK, NEC is pleased to be part of the Active Sharing Partnership initiative as DRNSW closes the digital divide for regional communities,” said Krisztian Som, Head of 5G Sales, Asia Pacific at NEC.

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