Vodafone and Nokia to introduce Open RAN in Italy

Vodafone and Nokia to introduce Open RAN in Italy

Vodafone Barcelona.jpg

Vodafone and Nokia will pilot a commercial 5G Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) trial in Italy for the first time.

The two companies say this deepens their relationship and encourages competition, innovation and competitiveness while giving it greater digital autonomy.

Covering a cluster of sites in northern Italy, the pilot will involve Nokia containerised baseband software running on Red Hat OpenShift, an industry-leading hybrid-cloud application platform powered by Kubernetes and hosted on the latest generation Dell PowerEdge XR8000 servers.

The collaboration has set out with a goal to prove that Nokia’s Open RAN solution achieves functionality and performance parity compared to its purpose-built RAN.

The deployment will include the validation of Open RAN-compliant Open Fronthaul interfaces.

“Today’s announcement reinforces Vodafone’s commitment to supporting the EU digital economy with the deployment of customer-focussed Open RAN networks,” said Alberto Ripepi, chief network officer at Vodafone.

“Through greater collaboration, Vodafone and Nokia will also foster a new developer ecosystem in our home markets by providing a live software-based open network on which to launch innovative products and services for our customers.”

The Open RAN deployment is the first of its kind in Italy, and Vodafone and Nokia say they are now focusing on building open and interoperable networks to meet enterprise and consumer demand for highly responsive 5G services built on AI and extended reality.

Vodafone’s strategy is to widely deploy Open RAN across Europe and to have 30% of its masts based on the technology by 2030.

This builds upon its recent announcement to deploy 2500 Open RAN sites in the UK, the first large-scale deployment in Europe.

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