Vodafone recently launched the first open RAN 5G site, which is the first macro-open RAN site in the UK that uses low-cost hardware and cloud-based capabilities. The base station is powered by Samsung’s vRAN technology platform, which includes its own radios along with Intel Xeon based servers from Dell operating a Wind River cloud platform. Capgemini Engineering and Keysight Technologies provide the acceleration and testing.
Scott Petty, CTO of Vodafone U.K., stated that the concept of open RAN “has the ability to make us less dependent on current larger technology suppliers, and find ways to reduce the cost of rolling out mobile coverage.”
Vodafone has reiterated its plan to have more than 2,500 open RAN sites in operation in 2027 (the date for the removal of Huawei RAN equipements) and also confirms that 30% of all its European sites will be using open RAN by 2030, this means 30,000 sites including both 4G and 5G sites.
A lot of wireless cellular companies are looking into open RAN because it could assist in meeting the strict 5G app requirements. Open RAN will help operators to avoid “vendor-lock in,” increasing network efficiency and decreasing the overall costs of managing networks.
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