OpenRAN gives the opportunity for smaller telecoms vendors to compete against legacy players with standards-based and interoperable equipment.
Matthew O’Neill, Head of Networks at NTT DATA UK, said:
“Vodafone’s announcement will progress the development of OpenRAN technology across Europe – a positive move that will enable interoperability between suppliers and support the much-needed diversification of supplying telecoms equipment.
However, in order to deliver on the promise of OpenRAN technology, we need to see more key industry players committing to this early stage of investment and more support for organisations such as the O-RAN Alliance, which are actively looking to shape the RAN industry and promote competition and innovation in the space.”
Governments are increasingly supportive of OpenRAN for the security benefits, especially following the disruptive and costly exile of Huawei from many Western networks. Operators, meanwhile, are particularly keen on OpenRAN for increasing the flexibility of their deployments while driving costs down.
Vodafone has been an early vocal supporter of OpenRAN. Last October, Vodafone UK committed to creating 2,500 mobile sites using OpenRAN technology.
Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer at Vodafone, said:
“OpenRAN provides huge advantages for customers. Our network will become highly programmable and automated meaning we can release new features simultaneously across multiple sites, add or direct capacity more quickly, resolve outages instantly and provide businesses with on-demand connectivity.
OpenRAN is also reinvigorating our industry. It will boost the digital economy by stimulating greater tech innovation from a wider pool of vendors, bringing much-needed diversity to the supply chain.”
In an announcement today, Vodafone named six companies that will help the operator to achieve its OpenRAN goal:
- Dell Technologies
- Wind River
- Capgemini Engineering
- Keysight Technologies
Vodafone recently announced a pioneering R&D centre in Newbury, UK which is focusing specifically on OpenRAN. A further partnership with Qualcomm will see both companies working together to add solutions to the project.
(Image Credit: Vodafone)
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