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Vodafone Testing Open Cellular Radio Tech That Could Lower Cellphone Rates
OpenRAN is an open access radio system co-developed with Intel focussed on building vendor-neutral 2G, 3G, and 4G RAN solutions.
Image for Representation (Source: https://openran.telecominfraproject.com/)
Vodafone has reportedly started the first European tests for OpenRAN in the United Kingdom. OpenRAN or Open Radio Access Network is an Intel co-developed open access radio system. It basically unifies software and hardware in cellular infrastructure and in turn could potentially lower costs of calls and data. Notably, Vodafone has so far deployed OpenRAN only in Turkey, where it offers 2G and 4G services.
Turns out, the company is planning to roll out the open radio tech in 120 rural areas in the United Kingdom on October 7. Vodafone is also expected to expand the technology to other countries with trials in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of Congo. While there is no guarantee whether carriers will use the tech to lower prices, it is entirely possible that they could invest the savings for upgrading their equipment or simply increase their profit margins. This, in turn, raises the possibility of lower prices and might help with coverage for carriers with tight budgets.
Furthermore, OpenRan could help with security issues as well. Vodafone and Intel have developed OpenRan that standardises the design of hardware and software in the infrastructure, masts and antennae that make up the radio access network that carries mobile calls as well as data.
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