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Vodafone Kicks Off O-RAN Deployments in Romania

2024-02-21 11:04:00| Source:Rcrwireless

The launch follows successful tests Vodafone started with Samsung and other partners last year in Romania

Vodafone said it is installing new Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) sites in 20 cities across Romania.

In Romania, Vodafone said it is working with several partners, including Samsung for 2G, 4G and 5G radio and baseband units, Dell PowerEdge servers designed for cloud-based Open RAN workloads from Dell Technologies and containers as a service (CaaS) software from Wind River.

The announcement follows successful tests Vodafone started with Samsung and other partners last year in Romania. It also builds on other European trials and Vodafone’s commercial rollout of O-RAN to 2,500 sites in the U.K., which started in August 2023.

Alberto Ripepi, chief network officer at Vodafone, said: “The momentum behind Open RAN technologies is building, in Vodafone and amongst our partners, as we focus on enhancing the customer experience. As new technologies like generative AI take root and are embedded within businesses, factories, and every day online interactions, they will require intelligence-based networks powerful enough to support them. Open RAN is designed to do just that.”

This commercial O-RAN deployment in Romania will cover urban cities to deliver high quality and reliable commercial network services to Vodafone’s customers, the telco said, adding that it will eventually allow operators to reduce costs by sharing all hardware components while independently managing their own RAN software on a common cloud infrastructure. Also, in future, O- RAN’s flexibility will allow customers to take full advantage of 5G Standalone (SA), which upgrades the telecoms network core as well as the radio antennas, the telco added.

In September 2023, Vodafone had started the installation of O-RAN equipment for 2,500 sites in Wales and in certain regions of England.

The telco noted that O-RAN technology will be used to replace legacy Huawei technology across 2,500 mobile sites in Wales and the south west of England. Vodafone said that this multi-year phased delivery will enable the company to remove all High-Risk Vendor (HRV) technology from the Radio Access Network (RAN) within Government timelines.

Vodafone also noted that it has made several proof-of-concept deployments to trial the O-RAN technology. After validating the technology in lab environments, Vodafone installed O-RAN in rural locations, before beginning a multi-site deployment project in Torquay and Exmouth.

Vodafone also said its O-RAN program in the U.K. is supporting by various partners, including Samsung, Intel, Keysight, Dell Technologies, Capgemini and Wind River.