The latest Open RAN milestone from Vodafone, one of the platform’s most active exponents and triallists, is a small cell trial using containerized baseband software with a small indoor radio/antenna unit.
Vodafone UK worked with Open RAN provider Mavenir on a voice and data test in which the software used to control the radio unit was containerized. In future, the MNO said additional cloud-native software could be added, which would enable businesses to build customized features into the RAN on an ad hoc basis to support their specific use cases.
Vodafone has been working with Mavenir for several years, having chosen the company, as well as Parallel Wireless, as ”leading candidates” to produce interoperable Open RAN solutions back in 2018. Since then, Vodafone has run Open RAN trials in the UK, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ireland, Mozambique and Turkey.
“Open RAN is opening doors to simplified and intuitive connectivity solutions. For our wider network deployment strategy, open RAN is enabling us to work with a wider pool of suppliers and to avoid vendor lock-in scenarios that might prevent us from taking advantage of the latest innovations,” said Andrea Dona, Vodafone UK’s chief network officer.