Vodafone teams with Intel to produce chipsets for OpenRAN
Vodafone will work with IntelCorp and other silicon vendors to design its own chipsets in OpenRAN technology.
The new initiative will be based at Vodafone’s digital innovation R&D lab in Malaga where Vodafone will be investing $251 million over the next five years.
The plan will contribute to the European Union’s efforts to bolster the chip industry after a global shortage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic affected vendors all over the world.
Vodafone said there will be around 50 people dedicated to OpenRAN, working with 650 software engineers and architects.
OpenRAN allows for interoperability of operators’ equipment, essentially allowing them to mix and match suppliers in the radio networks.
This news comes as Vodafone revealed it has switched on the UK’s first 5G OpenRAN site in Bath last month.
The site is the first of 2,500 5G and 4G OpenRAN sites that Vodafone plans to deploy and comes in support of the Government’s plan to accelerate the development of the OpenRAN ecosystem.
According to Reuters, around 20 other vendors have joined the project, including Qualcomm, Broadcom, ARM and LIME Microsystems with half of the total coming from Europe.
Francisco Martin, head of OpenRAN at Vodafone said: “As a pioneer of OpenRAN, Vodafone is joining forces with specialist technology companies to expand the ecosystem.
"Silicon innovation will strengthen Europe’s position in the global market and speed up the roll out of new digital services.”