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Vodafone’s 5G RFI – positive for ORAN pact, less so for open supply chain

The large-scale RFQ (see previous item) was not Vodafone’s only big announcement at the TIP Summit. It also announced the results of a new request for information (RFI), this time for OpenRAN 5G New Radio (NR), the focus of a recently formed new working group. There are two very significant aspects to this. One, although many small vendors responded, the winner was Samsung – not a major RAN vendor, but a traditional MNO partner and a company of huge resources. This did not entirely chime with the focus on shaking up the supply chain, but looked more like an old-school operator attempt to build up a single alternative, but low-risk, supplier to keep the incumbents honest – rather as Vodafone…

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