Vodafone and Qualcomm Technologies have teamed up to develop the technical blueprint for more equipment suppliers to help build future 5G networks using Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) technology.
Aiming to lower the entry barrier for many companies and drive diversification of network equipment vendors, reference designs will be designed to support emerging and established network infrastructure vendors develop high-performance, virtualized, interoperable, and modular 5G networks at scale. This aims to make cellular infrastructure more innovative and competitive.
Customers will benefit as Vodafone and other telecommunications companies mix and match hardware and software from a choice of suppliers to more easily extend 5G networks in specific geographical areas where they are most needed. Today, where two or more suppliers are used in a network, each one is deployed in a cluster, and the points at which they meet are often the most challenging in terms of performance.
The reference design will combine Vodafone’s engineering expertise at building high capacity, large-scale networks with expertise from Qualcomm Technologies in developing high performance and low power ASICs for device and infrastructure products. This powerful combination aims to ensure Open RAN is ready for use in 5G networks and capable of supporting bandwidth-hungry applications such as virtual and augmented reality devices, even in busy urban areas.
Santiago Tenorio, head of network architecture, Vodafone, said, “Global supply chains need a diverse and vibrant vendor ecosystem to keep them moving in the event of a product shortage or a single supplier having difficulties. Open RAN provides greater supplier diversity by allowing many more small vendors to compete on the world stage. Following the recent launch of our new Open RAN Test and Validation Lab, combining the creativity of Vodafone Engineering with that of our partners, we’re delighted to be partnering with Qualcomm Technologies to give smaller suppliers the best start.”