Vodafone launches Open RAN trials in the UK and Africa

.

The OpenRAN initiative aims to reduce costs in the radio access portion of the network, by ensuring that all kit is inter-operable

Vodafone has stepped up research into open up access in the radio access network sector, launching OpenRAN trials in the UK.

Vodafone says that the trial will greatly increase the number of vendors who can potentially contribute to the UK’s 4G and 5G network mix.

“We are pleased with trials of OpenRAN and are ready to fast track it into Europe as we seek to actively expand our vendor ecosystem. OpenRAN improves the network economics enabling us to reach more people in rural communities and that supports our goal to build digital societies in which no-one is left behind,” said Nick Read, CEO, Vodafone Group.

Vodafone has plans to extend its OpenRAN trials from the UK to the rest of Europe in the coming months.

In addition to its OpenRAN trials in Europe, Vodafone Group is also conducting lab trials of OpenRAN solutions with Vodacom in South Africa. It has also announced that it will set up further trials in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique, as it looks to bolster its offering in sub-Saharan Africa.