OpenRAN, or Open Radio Access Network, is a new way of building mobile networks. Instead of using a single vendor for an entire site, OpenRAN creates interoperability rules for vendors to follow.
OpenRAN is still in its early stages of development, but it has the potential to revolutionise the mobile network industry. Here are just a few of the benefits of OpenRAN:
- Reduced costs: OpenRAN can help providers reduce their network costs by increasing competition among vendors and allowing them to choose the best components for their needs.
- Increased innovation: OpenRAN fosters innovation by allowing new vendors to enter the market and by creating a more open and collaborative environment for development.
- Improved security: OpenRAN can help to improve network security by making it more difficult for attackers to target a single vendor.
- More flexibility: OpenRAN gives providers more flexibility to deploy and manage their networks.
Nokia, a traditional RAN vendor, is making a material commitment to the OpenRAN ecosystem. In a display of confidence in the technology, Vodafone and Nokia are expanding their existing partnership to run a 5G OpenRAN commercial pilot in Italy. This is the first OpenRAN trial to take place on a live Vodafone network.
The duo will also work alongside RedHat, Dell and Marvell to bring the pilot to life, while simultaneously demonstrating how OpenRAN can provide opportunities for new suppliers in the Vodafone business.
This is a significant development for the OpenRAN ecosystem, as it shows that Nokia is serious about supporting this new technology. It also sends a strong signal to other vendors that OpenRAN is the future of mobile networks.
The Future of OpenRAN
OpenRAN is still in its early stages of development, but it has the potential to revolutionise the mobile network industry. Nokia’s commitment to OpenRAN is a significant development for the ecosystem, and it shows that the company is serious about supporting this new technology.
As OpenRAN continues to mature, we can expect to see more and more businesses adopt this new technology. This will lead to lower costs, increased innovation, improved security, and more flexibility.
In the long term, OpenRAN has the potential to make mobile networks more accessible and affordable for everyone. This will help to bridge the digital divide and connect more people to the internet.
Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “OpenRAN is an ecosystem which is rapidly gathering momentum and our work in the UK shows why – there are so many benefits from the technological through to an internal cultural transformation. With more companies actively participating in the ecosystem development, we look forward to even more interesting ideas emerging.”
OpenRAN is a critical component of the overall Vodafone network strategy. In the UK, Vodafone has begun a project to install OpenRAN on 2500 sites across South West England and Wales. At a Group level, Vodafone has also committed to installing OpenRAN on 30% of mobile sites by 2030.