Vodafone Group took a giant leap forward in its commitment to OpenRAN, outlining plans for a tender covering its entire European footprint barely a month after announcing its first trials of the technology in the region, sources from GSMA.
An initiative forming part of the Telecom Infrastructure Project’s efforts to improve RAN efficiency, OpenRAN offers a software-centric approach based on commoditised hardware. The aim is to boost interoperability between equipment from multiple vendors, an approach deemed more cost-effective in terms of delivering rural connectivity than traditional approaches.
OpenRAN is compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G services.
Vodafone’s tender will cover more than 100,000 sites and 400 million people across 14 countries. Right now this is the biggest tender in this industry in the world. It’s a really big opportunity for OpenRAN to scale. The operator initially outlined plans to commence OpenRAN trials in rural areas of the UK following trials in Turkey and a number of African countries. Now the Republic of Ireland will also be involved in trials.
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