The British multinational telecom company Vodafone has recently launched an Open RAN (O-RAN) test and validation laboratory on its Newbury campus. The information was recently released by the telco through an official statement. Vodafone also shared crucial details regarding the launch and said that the new lab is the first dedicated and robust research and development facility for O-RAN in the U.K. The test and validation laboratory will employ 30 engineers in the beginning, and it will follow the commitment of Vodafone to develop 2,500 mobile sites with the O-RAN technology.
O-RAN Technology is Based on Interoperability Concept
Vodafone shed light on the details of the launch and marked that O-RAN technology is based on the concept of interoperability. In simple terms, telecom operators would get access to multiple suppliers to source necessary equipment for the development of mobile sites. Commonly, a major chunk of Radio Access Network (RAN) is built of specific proprietary design that slashes the supplier's list for telecom operators.
The new O-RAN technology normalises the development of both hardware and software to ensure that all elements are interoperable. Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer of Vodafone, said that the O-RAN is still in the developing stage, and the telco wants to spur the development. To avoid the perfect buyout product situation, Vodafone has made an investment in the New R&D lab along with the commitment of 2,500 O-RAN sites in the U.K countryside.
Vodafone Strives to Build Mobile Network Using Equipment from Different Suppliers
Even though O-RAN ensures meaningful and comprehensive benefits like innovation, competition and carbon savings, Vodafone will only deliver benefits if they support the ecosystem. Back in 2020, the telecom giant claimed to be the first operator in the country to build a live open RAN 4G site. Matt Warman, who is the Minister for digital infrastructure, marked that Vodafone is clearing the way in building mobile networks that will feature equipment from different suppliers. The newly designed R&D department at Newbury will put the U.K at the front position of the telecom revolution. It will also create new jobs and opportunities for other entities in the coming future.