Vodafone has unveiled a small, Open RAN-compatible 5G network-in-a-box that it claims could revolutionize the 5G private network market.
The box, will be centre stage at the Vodafone booth at Mobile World Congress 2023 later this month, which is the size of a Wi-Fi router, includes a software-defined radio chipset and a Raspberry Pi 4 personal computer. It can run any 5G core software stack and RAN software that is suitably sized for a small network deployment, and can be used by consumers or small businesses to extend 5G #coverage or to create a private 5G network.
According to the operator, the SDR system, which is compatible with Open RAN specifications, can “turn any computing platform into a miniature 5G base station,” which means that in addition to being a small portable network-in-a-box, it could be linked to an edge computing platform to provide a local extension to a public 5G network.
The network-in-a-box was developed at Vodafone’s European R&D centre in Málaga, Spain, where a team of engineers are focused on the development of chipsets for Open RAN networks.
Vodafone says it has not yet decided what to do with the device from a business perspective but is looking at the small and medium-sized #enterprise market.
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