Vodafone UK Will Replace Huawei Kit with Open RAN

Vodafone UK plans to deploy open RAN in 2,600 network sites by 2027. The decision is a part of a commitment to replace a large chunk of Huawei’s equipment, which it has been ordered to strip out by the government.

Vodafone will deploy open RAN technology in Wales and the southwest of England, replacing 35 percent of Huawei’s estate. The deployment is scheduled for 2022, with a procurement process due to begin in 2021. The comany has notably been a major backer of open RAN, and the representative said its latest commitment to the technology was one of the biggest in the industry so far.

Vodafone claimed a first in August when it lit a live 4G site in the UK using the technology. The move followed open RAN trials in the country, as well as the Republic of Ireland, Turkey, Mozambique and Democratic Republic of the Congo. The company emphasises that open RAN unlocked the door to more suppliers of network technology, instead of being reliant on heavily customised hardware available from only a few vendors. It partnered with alternative supplier Mavenir for the deployment.

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