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Vodafone and Nokia partner to drive the Open RAN ecosystem in Europe

Vodafone and Nokia have agreed to work together on a fully compatible open radio access network (RAN) solution, marking an important milestone for the mobile industry and a major boost for Europe ‘s competitiveness. open ran europe

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Combining Nokia’s advanced ReefShark System on Chip (SoC) technology, developed in cooperation with Marvell, with off-the-shelf (COTS) servers will enable the Open RAN system to achieve functionality and performance parity with traditional mobile radio networks. Nokia’s ReefShark SoC chipset powers the layer 1 processing power needed to connect many users to the mobile base station and support high levels of mobile data traffic.

Nokia is the first major Europe-based RAN equipment vendor to fully support Open RAN technology. This partnership with Nokia will help Vodafone meet its public target of having 30% of its European networks run on Open RAN by 2030, as well as boosting the EU’s global technology leadership in digital infrastructures.

READ MORE: Samsung To Bring Open RAN To Europe With Vodafone UK

Early next year, Vodafone and Nokia aim to showcase an Open RAN baseband system that processes customers’ mobile traffic, using layer 1 inline acceleration, in a major step towards the wider adoption of Open RAN.  This solution will ultimately be deployed in conjunction with third-party COTS server providers, consistent with the industry vision of an open and secure ecosystem built around specifications developed by the industry body, the ORAN Alliance.

Open RAN promises higher levels of automation open ran europe

Johan Wibergh, Vodafone CTO, commented: “Open RAN technology is transforming networks from pure communication systems to platforms for innovation. It transforms mobile phone antennas into intelligent and automated software-based towers, capable of supporting new applications for use in telemedicine, homes, transport and factories. As such, we have led the technology, along with other like-minded companies, to live deployment. I am delighted to see Nokia’s commitment and I am confident that together we will keep the flow of innovation in Europe.”

Raghib Hussain, president of products and technologies at Marvell, explained: “Marvell is delighted to expand its current cooperation with industry leaders in Open RAN, Vodafone and Nokia. Our no-compromise O-RAN solution, based on our world-proven 5G silicon, is helping our customers and partners to innovate in system architecture and maintain the extremely high performance standards set by mobile networks.”

Open RAN technology separates hardware and software in a mobile base station, allowing equipment diversity from different vendors, including the use of general-purpose hardware. Open RAN also promises to enable much higher levels of automation than have been possible until now.

This announcement consolidates the opening by Vodafone, earlier this year, of the first European R&D center focused on the development of Open RAN networks. The center, located in the new Vodafone Digital Competence Hub in Malaga, focuses on establishing a strong ecosystem for Open RAN solutions in Europe.

 

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