Vodafone is kicking off its large-scale open RAN deployment in Wales and South-West of England with support from Samsung Networks. Notably, Vodafone will deploy the open RAN (Radio Access Network) across 2,500 sites in the UK region. The program started with the open RAN setup in Devon using Samsung's virtualized RAN (vRAN) software and open RAN radio solutions.
Samsung provides vRAN software that supports Multi-RAT (Multiple Radio Access Technology) across 4G and 5G and its O-RAN-compliant radios in the low and mid-bands. This also includes its massive MIMO (Multiple-Input Multiple-Output) radios. As per reports, this will be a multi-year phased delivery, giving sufficient time for Vodafone to eliminate all High-Risk Vendor (HRV) technology (Huawei and ZTE) across the RAN within government timelines.
This is the largest open RAN rollout in the UK, supported by Samsung Networks, and is the latest milestone in the partnership between Samsung and Vodafone. Samsung supported the installation of Vodafone's first Open RAN site in Exmouth and Torquay networks in December of 2022. Thanks to Samsung's vRAN solutions, the results have exceeded the targeted KPIs, including 4G and 5G downlink and uplink speeds.
Samsung is also supporting the automation of the vRAN deployment process. This will be of great help in the management of cell sites from a unified platform. Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, said, “After rounds of testing and validation, we are well prepared to embark on this new phase in our Open RAN expansion and look forward to opening up a new world of possibilities that will transform customer experiences.“