Vodafone opens R&D centre to design its own Open RAN chips

Vodafone has opened Europe’s first dedicated R&D centre to help the operator design its own Open RAN chips.

Open RAN helps to break up the relative monopoly held by a handful of telecoms equipment vendors and provide greater diversity in national infrastructure.

An increasing number of governments and operators are supportive of Open RAN for its benefits of helping to lower costs, prevent vendor lock-in, and lessen the impact of decisions like banning Huawei from...

Vodafone activates the UK’s first live 5G Open RAN site

Vodafone has switched on the UK’s first live 5G Open RAN site as part of thousands it has planned.

The groundbreaking site was delivered in partnership with Samsung, Wind River, Dell, Intel, Keysight Technologies, and Capgemini Engineering—proving the interoperability benefits of Open RAN.

Here’s what each partner is delivering:

Samsung: Virtualised Radio Access Network (vRAN) Solutions, as well as technical, product, and integration supportDell: Common Off...

UK Government announces Open RAN rollout target and 2G/3G sunsetting

A sunset.

The UK Government and mobile network operators have jointly set a target for 35% of the UK’s mobile network traffic to be carried over open and interoperable Radio Access Network (RAN) architectures by 2030.

IT is believed that open network architectures will play a key role in enhancing the security and resilience of the networks required to keep in touch and do business. 

Following recent decisions the Government has made around the use of high-risk vendors and...

NTT DOCOMO and NEC successfully test 5G SA using O-RAN equipment in multi-vendor configuration

NTT DOCOMO and NEC have successfully tested a 5G standalone (SA) network using a base station conforming to O-RAN specifications in a multi-vendor configuration.

A software upgrade to NEC’s 5G base station baseband unit operating on DOCOMO’s commercial network transitioned it from a non-standalone system into a standalone using the same hardware.

5G SA networks enable operators to provide services that take full advantage of the latest mobile...

Germany warns that Open RAN poses a security risk

Germany doesn’t agree with the assessment that Open RAN (O-RAN) provides a more secure alternative to certain vendors.

A US-led campaign warning that Chinese vendors such as Huawei pose a security risk led many governments to ban or restrict the use of such equipment in national infrastructure. The exile of vendors that have provided equipment for multiple generations of networks has been costly for operators and set back their rollouts.

O-RAN has been hailed as the...

IBM and Airspan Networks target increased European adoption of 5G-enabled Open RAN

IBM has partnered with Airspan Networks in a bid to accelerate the adoption of 5G-enabled Open RAN technologies across Europe.

Open RAN delivers hardware and software that are based on interoperable and open standards—delivering greater choice and lower costs for operators while preventing vendor lock-in and enabling innovative new players to break the market hold of the handful of established players.

One of those emerging players is Florida-based Airspan...

Vodafone partners with Mavenir to develop indoor OpenRAN solution

Vodafone and Mavenir have developed a small cell OpenRAN solution for indoor network coverage.

The solution is designed for businesses with medium to large office spaces and uses OpenRAN to support interoperability and prevent vendor lock-in.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone UK, said:

“So far, OpenRAN deployment has focused on outdoor connectivity, but there is significant potential for this technology in the office environment.

A simple...

Let’s be FRANC, the UK wants to be a 5G OpenRAN pioneer

The UK Government has launched a £30 million scheme to cement the country’s leadership in developing the next generation of 5G networks.

FRANC (Future RAN Competition) will help to fund innovative R&D projects across the UK to help speed up the adoption of OpenRAN (Open Radio Access Network) technology. Projects vying to claim a share of the funding are encouraged to make proposals that will help to fast-track viable solutions and encourage further business and government...

UK opens £1M SONIC Labs to accelerate 5G OpenRAN deployment

The UK government has announced the launch of two new labs to accelerate the development, testing, and deployment of 5G OpenRAN.

One of the new “SONIC Labs” will be based in London while the other will be in Brighton. The sites will enable various manufacturers to supply components for 5G radio equipment and test them prior to real-world deployments.

Digital Infrastructure Minister Matt Warman launched the SONIC Labs at a virtual event this morning. He...

Vodafone gives OpenRAN contracts to Samsung, NEC, Dell, Wind River, and others

Vodafone has given valuable contracts to Samsung, NEC, Dell, Wind River, and others as part of its commitment to use OpenRAN in its network.

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...