Vodafone UK has become the first UK mobile operator to switch on an OpenRAN 4G site, partnering with Mavenir, the industry’s only end-to-end cloud-native Network Software Provider for Communications Service Providers (CSPs).
This deployment in Wales is connecting Vodafone customers around the Royal Welsh Showground in Powys. Vodafone plans to use OpenRAN to more cost-effectively extend 4G services to rural communities and introduce new suppliers in the radio network.
OpenRAN increases flexibility, agility, speed of rollout, and helps to decrease costs by using commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and new innovative virtualised and open solutions.
OpenRAN is the foundational principle of open interfaces and product interoperability. It is based on initiatives from the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and O-RAN Alliance, and will lead to networks that are more flexible, innovative and cost effective, and enables new suppliers to support mobile networks. In this deployment, the RAN is also virtualised (vRAN). Virtualised RAN is the software application running on COTS that delivers cost effectiveness, increased flexibility and agility to the mobile operators, whilst providing one architecture for many different deployment scenarios.
Vodafone UK Chief Technology Officer Scott Petty said: “We are delighted to work together with Mavenir on the important milestone of the UK’s first live OpenRAN site. The introduction of the technology enables us to introduce new suppliers, such as Mavenir, giving us greater flexibility when rolling out our mobile network. We’re proud to be pioneering the development of OpenRAN and will be monitoring the performance of this first site.”
“We are proud to have achieved such a milestone with Vodafone and to provide innovative radio solutions in the market that transform the mobile network economics, while deploying technology with greater flexibility, greater efficiencies, and more agility as a full end-to-end Network Software Provider,” said Pardeep Kohli, President and CEO at Mavenir. “Mavenir is committed to bringing transformative innovation and technology to the telecommunications space and will continue to leverage our long history and experience in virtualised network solutions.”