Vodafone UK and MTN have revealed the vendors they will work with for open RAN deployments. Vodafone’s commercial open RAN rollout – the first in Europe – will cover 2,500 sites in rural parts of the UK at first, expanding into urban areas over the longer term. This marks an important moment in the country’s 5G story (which has been impacted by the Huawei ban) and is a breakthrough for Samsung in its efforts to compete with European rivals and gain a foothold in the region.
MTN will partner with several firms, including Altiostar, Mavenir and Parallel Wireless, to widen its deployment of open RAN, building on the 1,100 commercial locations in 11 markets that currently use “open source” technology. The operator considers that utilising the architecture will enable cost-efficient network modernisation and lower power consumption and carbon emissions. While open RAN is often considered to be a European or US project, MTN’s multi-country commitment reflects how it is a global phenomenon.