Vodafone and Mavenir complete first call over containerised Open RAN solution

Vodafone and Mavenir complete first call over containerised Open RAN solution-01

Mavenir, the Network Software Provider building the future of networks with cloud-native software that runs on any cloud and transforms the way the world connects, announced today that Vodafone and Mavenir have completed the first data and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call across a containerised 4G small cell Open RAN solution in a lab environment. 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.

Having first started work on a containerised indoor enterprise connectivity solution in January 2021, Vodafone has completed tests for an important stage of the technology roadmap. The plug-and-play small cell equipment can ensure comprehensive mobile coverage in every corner of the office. The solution will provide 4G coverage initially, making use of radio hardware from Sercomm and software from Mavenir (Open RAN).

This demonstration of a containerised solution is a major milestone in the evolution of connectivity equipment away from physical infrastructure to a digital cloud-based environment. Containerisation provides greater flexibility for customers, but also significant benefits in terms of speed and cost of deployment.

Containerisation means 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.

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Moving forward, Vodafone and Mavenir will focus on finalising the packaging and automation of the solution before beginning trials with selected customers.

Open RAN technology separates software from hardware, meaning more flexibility for mobile operators and customers. The approach will see many companies providing the components that make up a mobile network site, where previously one vendor would have delivered the whole solution. The technology is widely accepted as a disruptor for the telecommunications industry, and Vodafone is one of the industry leaders in supporting the development of this vendor ecosystem.

Whereas much of the focus for Open RAN has been directed towards network infrastructure deployment on mobile sites throughout the UK, the technology can be implemented in an enterprise environment to support local connectivity requirements. As an interoperable and standardised technology, Open RAN solutions can be integrated with little disruption in a “plug and play” manner, interoperable with other Open RAN compliant vendors.

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