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Vodafone deploys OpenRAN on 16 European mobile masts

Megan Robinson
December 7, 2022

The deployment marks the first time in Europe that OpenRAN has been deployed in an urban environment, as it usually focuses on more rural areas

Vodafone has started its OpenRAN deployment to install the technology on 16 mobile masts across Europe over the next few months.

The network has been helping advance OpenRAN technology, including through its two OpenRAN Research and Development centres in Newbury and Malaga.

OpenRAN in urban locations shows the technology is a useful alternative to traditional RAN- not just in rural locations and Vodafone is now able to work with businesses outside the traditional telecommunications ecosystem.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “Vodafone was one of the first companies worldwide to commit to OpenRAN at scale.  The potential of OpenRAN is huge and clear to see.  But to realise this potential, we need to deploy the technology out in the live network and take it from rural to urban locations. This is what we have now done – taking lab innovations into the real world and an essential step forward for the health and resilience of our industry.

“OpenRAN is a critical component of Vodafone’s wider network strategy. Not only can OpenRAN lower the barrier for entry for alternative suppliers to add greater resilience and diversity to Vodafone’s supply chain, but this additional competition will also act as a catalyst for innovation, allowing suppliers to specialise in niche areas as opposed to providing ‘turnkey’ solutions.”

Digital Infrastructure Minister Julia Lopez said: “Vodafone’s use of Open RAN in Devon is the first of its kind in Europe, proving once again that the UK is a leader in innovative solutions for mobile connectivity. We encourage other providers to roll out Open RAN in urban areas and continue to support a more diverse, innovative and resilient telecoms supply chain through our £250m investment programme.”

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