Vodafone and Qualcomm Partner to Provide Open-RAN Technical Blueprint For Vendors

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The move aims to lower the entry barrier for many companies and drive diversification of network equipment vendors

partnership

Vodafone is collaborating with Qualcomm Technologies Inc. to develop the technical blueprint for telecom equipment suppliers to use Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) technology to help build 5G networks, the company said in a joint statement. 

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The move aims to lower the entry barrier for many companies and drive diversification of network equipment vendors, it said.  

“In particular, the reference designs will be designed to support emerging and established network infrastructure vendors to develop high-performance, virtualized, interoperable, and modular 5G networks at scale. This aims to make cellular infrastructure more innovative and competitive,” the statement said. 

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. 

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.”

The statement further added, “The reference design will combine Vodafone’s engineering expertise at building high capacity, large-scale networks with Qualcomm Technologies’ leadership in developing high performance and low power Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) solutions for device and infrastructure products.”

Dino Flore, Vice President of Technology at Qualcomm Europe, said, “The collaboration to develop comprehensive solutions from Open RAN RU with MaMIMO capabilities to high-performance DU platforms provides an important step forward in speeding up the transition to open, virtualized and interoperable radio access networks.”

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