As part of the plans to reduce cellular network costs, Vodafone Group Plc (NASDAQ:VOD) is rolling out an open radio tech – OpenRAN in 120 rural areas of the UK. The company would implement the new technology on October 7, 2019, on a trial basis. Vodafone has already implemented the latest technology in Turkey, where it provides 4G and 2G services.
Reduces data and calls cost
Vodafone, like other telecoms, has been using cellular network technology from Nokia and Ericsson. It is expensive, and the company is trying innovative technologies to reduce network costs and pass on the benefits to the customers in Europe in the form of lower data and call charges.
Feasibility tests in Mozambique
Intel has developed the Open Radio Tech – OpenRAN, which harmonizes the software and hardware in a cellular network infrastructure. It makes the data and calls charges cheaper. Apart from the UK, Vodafone is also conducting feasibility tests on the Intel developed technology in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The new technology would help the budget carriers to lower the prices and boost their profits.
Overcome security threats
Intel’s OpenRAN would help to mitigate the security issues. In the recent past, Huawei is in the center of allegations of possible surveillance using its equipment. Huawei is blacklisted in the US. The banning of Huawei equipment puts a burden of $62 billion to the costs of 5G deployment in Europe. Now, the carriers have an alternative to tackle security issues and lower network costs.
OpenRAN, which is jointly developed by Intel and Vodafone, helps to standardize the software and hardware designs in the infrastructure, antennae, and masts. Apart from Turkey, Vodafone has conducted the tests on OpenRAN in South Africa too.
Nick Read, Chief Executive Officer of Vodafone, said the company is rolling out the technology in Europe and searching for expanding the vendors. Innovative OpenRAN provides Vodafone with more rural reach and allows offering services to rural communities. It helps the company to build digital societies. The new technology allows the company to reduce dependence on Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei.
Vodafone is reportedly working with Lime Microsystems in the UK and Mavenir and Parallel Wireless in the US on OpenRAN.