Vodafone boasts urban open RAN first

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Vodafone UK claimed it achieved the first commercial urban deployment of open RAN in Europe, trialling the technology in two towns to provide smartphone users with data download rates of up to 700Mb/s.

The towns chosen have a combined population of more than 87,000 people.

Vodafone stated the towns are the “first urban locations to feature the innovation new network”.

The operator noted peak data rates of 700Mb/s is double previous internet speeds, with engineers observing open RAN-based 5G was available more than 99 per cent of the time.

Faster speeds and wider coverage is possible through Massive MIMO, which Vodafone explained enhances network performance, increases the capacity of a wireless connection using the same bandwidth and ultimately expands the capability of the mobile site.

Vodafone is one of the industry’s biggest open RAN backers, with a long-term commitment to have 30 per cent of all mobile sites in the EU employing the approach by 2030.

It currently has 14 sites live in the UK and a fifth of all sites in the country will be based across Wales and the West Country. The rollout plan includes five cities in the areas with more than 100,000 citizens.

Alberto Ripepi, Vodafone chief network officer, said it was keen to test network performance from improved speeds to greater 5G access and there is an ambition to bring the technology to more customers in rural and urban areas.



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