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Vodafone’s OpenRAN trial is a swallow not a summer, but an important step

Large mobile operators have been protesting for years about their small selection of RAN vendors, and the way the large OEMs lock them in with proprietary implementations, even of standards-based architectures. With Huawei potentially being barred from some countries’ 5G networks, the choice threatens to get even smaller, with the accompanying negative impact on competition, innovation and pricing. Hence the support of several leading operators for various industry initiatives to promote fully open RAN platforms. Last month, NTT Docomo deployed a pre-commercial 5G RAN in Tokyo, Japan using open interfaces defined by the Linux Foundation’s ORAN Alliance. This month it’s the turn of Vodafone to take a lead, building on last year’s RFIs (requests for information) for open networks and…

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