Vodafone, one of the largest telecom operators of the U.K. recently announced that it has switched on 4G Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) in two rural locations of Cornwall. The two concerned locations are St Keverne on The Lizard and the Fistral Beach in Newquay. It is worth noting that the newly added two locations are only the second and the third places in all of the U.K. to receive O-RAN 4G networks.
How Does O-RAN Help Vodafone?
Generally, when a mobile operator wants to build a network, it can purchase the equipment and other important components for the network from a vendor such as Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, and more.
However, O-RAN changes this completely. With O-RAN, instead of depending on a single company like Ericsson, operators can purchase different components of the network from different companies. This gives operators more control over the quality and the cost incurred for rolling out the new networks.
With O-RAN, companies can purchase their hardware and software from different companies for rolling out a new network.
Vodafone’s Big Plans For Rolling O-RAN Across the U.K.
Last year, Vodafone had announced that it is looking to rollout O-RAN networks across the U.K. The company has plans of switching 2,600 sites, mostly in South West England and rural Wales to O-RAN.
However, Vodafone will start with full deployment in 2022 which will carry on until 2027. The company has delayed the deployment a little because the technology and equipment around O-RAN is still developing and thus it is only logical to wait for a little. By 2022, more suppliers are expected to come to the market with their O-RAN offerings.
The investment of the company in O-RAN in Cornwall will act as a foundation or base as the groundwork that will follow up with all the future deployments in the U.K. On its note, Vodafone didn’t reveal which companies and suppliers it partnered with to deploy 4G O-RAN in Cornwall.
If the company got the deployment executed in the right manner, it will be able to save a lot of costs and provide even better network coverage in the near future.