Vodafone Idea (Vi) is looking to avoid a duopoly scenario of Ericsson and Nokia for 5G. The third-largest telco is looking beyond the two vendors and talking to other local and international companies/vendors for sourcing network gear. This will help the telco with being safe from overpaying to Nokia and Ericsson for the equipment. More so, Vodafone Idea would come in a strong position to negotiate prices with the two companies (Nokia, Ericsson) if it has other options as well. A senior Vodafone Idea executive confirmed to ET that the telco is looking for other options than Nokia and Ericsson to source 5G gear.
Huawei, ZTE Unlikely to be Part of India’s 5G
The government has been against Chinese equipment vendors, including Huawei and ZTE, to be a part of India’s 5G. The company executive said that Vi is talking to new vendors because there’s uncertainty over the inclusion of Chinese vendors, and Samsung is only working with Jio in India.
The Open-RAN (O-RAN) based sites are a good to way reduce costs for the company. Vodafone Idea had already deployed O-RAN based commercial sites for 4G with the help of Mavenir in Maharashtra and Karnataka.
The company executive said that Vi has initiated talks with global system integrators and vendors and is closely tracking O-RAN developments in the international markets. But O-RAN is not yet a completely mature technology yet, and it will still take a few years to come around.
With O-RAN, companies don’t need to depend on a single vendor for the deployment of the complete network site. O-RAN allows equipment/products from different companies/vendors to co-exist with several software providers, which at the end of the day results in reduced costs for the telcos. Telecom operators can purchase different equipment/products at the cheapest rates from different companies/vendors with O-RAN.