Press Release | 09 Jul 2021

Vodafone creating indoor OpenRAN solution for business customers

The announcement marks the extension of a long-standing partnership between Vodafone and Mavenir to bring the advantages of OpenRAN to more customers.

  • Vodafone is partnering with Mavenir to create an indoor small cell solution for business customers using OpenRAN technology
  • The announcement marks the extension of a long-standing partnership between Vodafone and Mavenir to bring the advantages of OpenRAN to more customers

Vodafone and Mavenir are working on a small cell solution, based on OpenRAN technology, to provide indoor 4G connectivity for business customers.

Designed for business customers who occupy medium to large office spaces, 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.

The design of the indoor small cell solution is based on the OpenRAN philosophy of interoperability. In this case, the software will be provided by Mavenir (Open vRAN), while Sercomm will provide the radio hardware. The design and flexibility of the small cell solution means it will be interoperable with other OpenRAN compliant vendors.

A powerful, indoor small cell solution can offer several advantages to business customers. The simple plug and play installation means coverage can be instantly deployed, enabling seamless connectivity for every device in the office. The interoperability of the OpenRAN ecosystem paves the way for long-term flexibility to work with a wider array of vendors for elements such as radio units, baseband hardware, and gateways.

Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone UK, said: “So far, OpenRAN deployment has focused on outdoor connectivity, but there is significant potential for this technology in the office environment. A simple plug-and-play product, which includes all the attractive benefits of the OpenRAN philosophy, is one that can build on our strength of providing indoor coverage through both our macro network and our bespoke solutions.”

Virtyt Koshi, SVP Mavenir EMEA, said: “Mavenir is delighted to partner with Vodafone in Open RAN and to work in the UK on their radio network transformation initiative, proving the extreme flexibility of Open vRAN. We are particularly proud in working in the field within the Vodafone commercial network and in the Newbury Open RAN Test and Verification lab, supporting the Vodafone effort to boost the ecosystem.”

The development of an indoor small cell solution is the next stage of a long-standing relationship between Vodafone and Mavenir.

In August 2020, Vodafone deployed the first OpenRAN site to carry live traffic in the UK. The sites, including the Royal Welsh Showground in Powys, feature Mavenir software and Sunwave radio units. Vodafone and Mavenir will continue this partnership to deploy more OpenRAN sites in the future.

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About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK is a technology communications company that connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed-line connections, home and office broadband, and the Internet of Things (IoT).

We have a strong track record as a tech pioneer, making the UK’s first mobile phone call, sending the first text message, and making the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G in 2018. We were the first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester and now have 5G in locations across Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain as well as the UK. Meanwhile, our 4G network coverage currently reaches over 99% of the UK population.

Today, Vodafone serves more than 18 million mobile and fixed-line customers in the UK. Vodafone is the largest provider of full fibre in the UK – our superfast broadband services are now available to nearly 12 million homes across the UK.

Sustainability is also at the heart of what we do: as of 1 July 2021, 100% of the grid electricity we use in the UK is certified to be from renewable sources.

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