Vodafone Germany Tests O-RAN and Enhances 5G Network

With the help of Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, OPPO, and Vodafone Germany, the 5G Standalone (SA) network was introduced last year. In large urban centres, suburban and residential areas, and rural areas throughout Germany, Vodafone is relying on frequencies in the 3.6 GHz, 1.8 GHz, and 700 MHz bands for the 5G development.

Highlights

  • Vodafone said that it was integrating new 5G antennas from its technology provider Ericsson into its 5G network.
  • The O-RAN hardware and software that Vodafone successfully tested in the U.K. will be used in the pilot projects.
  • Vodafone first made use of the 3.5 GHz frequencies it had purchased from Telefónica in 2018 to establish its 5G network in Germany.

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As per Vodafone Germany, 60 million individuals nationwide have access to its 5G network currently. The telco stated in a release that it has currently installed 41,000 5G base stations around the country. There were more than 50 new 5G Standalone (SA) base stations operational just in October, bringing the total number of 5G SA units nationwide to 2,750.

5G Standalone Network Is Currently Available to Nearly 20 Million People in Germany

With the help of Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, OPPO, and Vodafone Germany, the 5G Standalone (SA) network was introduced last year. In large urban centres, suburban and residential areas, and rural areas throughout Germany, Vodafone is relying on frequencies in the 3.6 GHz, 1.8 GHz, and 700 MHz bands for the 5G development. The operator also stated that approximately 20 million people might presently access its 5G Standalone network. With 2025, the entire country will be covered by 5G SA, according to a prior statement by Vodafone.

Previously, Vodafone said that it was integrating new 5G antennas from its technology provider Ericsson into its 5G network. These antennas carry data in a way that is substantially more energy-efficient. Around 40% less energy is used for data transmission when compared to earlier antenna technologies. By the conclusion of the current fiscal year, Vodafone plans to upgrade 900 5G antennas to this energy-saving technology, 150 of which are currently being tested by the company.

In 2019, Vodafone first made use of the 3.5 GHz frequencies it had purchased from Telefónica in 2018 to establish its 5G network in Germany. Moreover, Vodafone Germany reported that it had successfully finished an Open RAN (O-RAN) technology field test in the Saxony region's Plauen.

The O-RAN hardware and software that Vodafone successfully tested in the U.K. will be used in the pilot projects. For these O-RAN trials, Samsung is now providing mobile hardware and software. One of the first O-RAN systems in Germany to use open interfaces and be built on a variety of totally interchangeable and compatible hardware and software from different providers is our pilot project, according to Tanja Richter, head of network at Vodafone Germany. The carrier revealed today that it would run extensive open 5G radio access network pilot projects at a number of places throughout Germany. Rural Bavaria is where the operator's O-RAN technology's initial two stations are situated. The experiments, which are slated to begin in early 2023, will usher in wider adoption of O-RAN technologies throughout Vodafone's European mobile networks.

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