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Vodafone and Mavenir complete first call over containerized Open RAN

News

Elsewhere, Comarch and IS-Wireless team up to offer ready-made 5G Open RAN

Vodafone and Mavenir say they completed the “first data and [voice over LTE] VoLTE call on 4G small cell Open RAN solution at Vodafone’s lab in Newbury in the UK.

They claim the demonstration of “true containerised Open RAN platform for small cells [is] a major milestone in the evolution RAN equipment”.

The completed tests are the latest steps forward to delivering an open and vendor-interoperable 4G connectivity solution for small to medium-sized office locations, apparently.

Vodafone started work on a containerised indoor enterprise connectivity solution in January 2021. The plug-and-play small cell equipment is intended to ensure comprehensive mobile coverage in every corner of the office.

Container-as-a-Service

The solution will provide 4G coverage initially, making use of radio hardware from Sercomm and software from Mavenir (Open RAN). The advantages of containerisation are that software can be seamlessly transferred between equipment, platforms, and applications.

Wind River provided its Containers as a Service (CaaS) software, part of Wind River Studio.

Next Vodafone and Mavenir will focus on finalising the packaging and automating the solution before beginning trials with selected customers.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone UK, said, “For our wider network deployment strategy, Open RAN is enabling us to work with a wider pool of suppliers and to avoid vendor lock-in scenarios that might prevent us from taking advantage of the latest innovations. The same could be said for enterprise connectivity solutions.

“From the moment Open RAN is deployed in an office environment, customers are no-longer locked into a single upgrade path. Working alongside Vodafone, customers can be more flexible in how connectivity solutions are adapted and upgraded as demands evolve in the future.”

Another variation on the theme

Comarch and IS-Wireless signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate and integrate their Open RAN development activities.

Their proposed combined solution will consist of OSS, BSS, and service and management orchestration (SMO) developed and delivered by Comarch.

The RAN, Core, and MANO components in 4G and 5G technology will be provided by IS-Wireless. The companies will join forces “to enter the market with a comprehensive 5G mobile network solution”.

The offer is for mobile operators and those building private 5G networks, such as local governments and for Industry 4.0. The two say, “The solution will be built in accordance with Open RAN principles.

“As a result, the networks will be delivered faster and at a lower cost compared to utilizing traditional vendors. It’s also a new opportunity for new companies to enter a market which has been closed for so many years.