Vodafone relied on US and Japanese suppliers to fill the void Huawei left in its 5G supply chain after the UK telecommunications company awarded Europe’s first major “open RAN” contract to a number of alternative suppliers.
Carriers have signed agreements with Samsung Electronics, NEC, Dell, and Wind River to build Europe’s first commercial “open RAN” network. Capgemini, a French consulting group, and Keysight Technologies of the United States will work on network integration.
The deal is for Asian equipment suppliers who have struggled to compete with Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia during the 4G era as carriers are looking to smaller suppliers to build 5G networks. It gives a big boost to Samsung and NEC.
“OpenRAN” is a concept that tightly bundles its own hardware and software, which can break the shackles of the largest telecommunications equipment supplier in the wireless market. Open systems allow small and potentially innovative suppliers to enter the 5G market and how to intensify competition after removing Huawei, the largest supplier of kits, from the 5G network. As supported by the US and UK governments.
With the UK government’s decision last year to ban the use of new Huawei devices on 5G networks and phase out existing kits by 2027, operators such as Vodafone and Telefónica have been able to use wireless devices. Accelerated plans to use alternative suppliers.
The UK Government and the European Commission are promoting the concept of “open RAN” as a way to boost the technology industry by opening up huge communications costs to small local hardware and software providers. Both the UK and German governments have made public funding available for the development of open RAN technology, but lack of funding for companies such as Vodafone to replace Huawei’s equipment.
This has created tensions within the industry, given that two of Europe’s largest tech companies, Ericsson and Nokia, are already offering Huawei alternatives.
However, Vodafone’s first contract, which was awarded after months of testing various open RAN vendors, was passed to suppliers in Asia and the United States. The company said it may use European-based vendors in the future. “With the support of political and industrial policies from the European Commission and EU governments, Open RAN has the potential to bring more European companies into this emerging market,” he said.
The first work will be done in the UK, in the southwestern part of the country, with 2,500 masts covering most of Wales being upgraded to use open RAN equipment. This will extend the open RAN push to Europe and Africa.
Johan Wibergh, Vodafone’s Chief Technology Officer, said overhauling the network will increase operator flexibility. “Open RAN is also revitalizing our industry. It boosts the digital economy by stimulating greater innovation from a pool of a wide range of vendors and bringing the diversity needed to the supply chain. “He said.
Vodafone Offers Samsung, Dell and NEC First “Open RAN” Transactions
Source link Vodafone Offers Samsung, Dell and NEC First “Open RAN” Transactions