Sterlite Technologies (STL) has launched Firebird, a path-breaking line of open radio access network (O-RAN) based macro radios for dense, wide area 5G coverage. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress 2022, Barcelona, where the company showcased its All-In 5G solutions.

STL Firebird is a portfolio of multi-band 4G/5G macro O-RAN compliant radio units (O-RUs), initially available in band 1, 40, 41, and 78 among others. These software-defined radios are based on a platform architecture and fulfill varying 5G coverage and capacity requirements of global carriers.

Earlier, in 2022, STL announced its collaboration with Meta Connectivity to design and develop dual radio access technologies (RAT) 4G and 5G radio products, specifically in the band 40 and 78. Through the Evenstar program, STL is working with Meta Connectivity to accelerate the adoption of O-RAN solutions.

Sales of O-RAN equipment are expected to reach $12 billion by 2026. STL, with its open access solution – Accellus, is leading the pivot towards vendor neutrality. A part of Accellus, STL’s O-RAN compliant Firebird radios are 5G-ready, open and programmable. These carrier-grade radio units are compliant with 3GPP standards and work seamlessly with O-RAN distributed units (O-DU) and centralised units (O-CU) and will deliver a faster time to markets for telco’s 5G roll-outs. Some of the features of Firebird are:

  • Open front haul interface – Fully compliant with O-RAN front haul specifications for vendor neutrality.
  • Energy efficient and environment friendly – Lower power consumption and minimised physical footprint.
  • Ideal for outdoor settings – Carrier-grade hardware (IP 65 rating) and robust enough for harsh outdoor conditions.
  • Simpler operations – Easy field set up and verification, and software diagnosis, CI/CD software feature upgrades.

Commenting on the development, Jaydeep Ranade, director, Wireless Engineering, Meta Connectivity, said, “STL’s focus on pivoting the industry towards open, disaggregated and more vendor agnostic networks coincides well with the purpose of the Evenstar program. We are confident that STL Firebird will pave the way for O-RAN 5G networks that are flexible and can power a range of use cases.”

Meanwhile, Gilles Garcia, senior director, Adaptable and Embedded Computing Group, AMD, said, “STL’s All-in 5G solutions will play an instrumental role in the industry’s transition towards open and programmable networks. Powered by a range of world-class Xilinx Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC and MPSoC solutions, STL’s Firebird suite of radios will deliver the high scalability, agility, and cost efficiencies required for the growing 5G market.”

As per Chris Rice, CEO, Access Solutions, STL, said, “Firebird is a critical addition to our line of open networking programmable access solutions for 5G-ready networks. Built on industry-standard open interfaces, Firebird allows seamless integration with compliant O-RAN vendor RAN (CU/DU) products, to enable quick deployment and ensure proper wide-area 5G coverage. It is a key step towards delivering on our purpose to transform billions of lives with digital networks.”