Samsung, Voda deploy first 5G open RAN site in UK

Bath (UK), Jan 20: Samsung Electronics and Vodafone have announced they have deployed the UK’s first 5G Open Radio Access Network (RAN) site carrying live customer traffic.
The site in Bath marks the start of Vodafone’s scaled Open RAN architecture in Europe, with more than 2,500 additional sites to follow.
The companies, to commemorate the deployment on Wednesday, successfully completed a 5G live video call using Samsung’s 5G virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) between Vodafone UK Chief Network Officer Andrea Dona, and UK Minister of State for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure Julia Lopez.
This was UK’s first call on a commercial 5G Open RAN.
The companies in the first half of the year will also test other advanced network technologies that leverage both LTE and 5G to help enhance mobile user experiences.
They will be testing Samsung vRAN’s telco-grade performance metrics and features, such as security, inter-Radio Access Technology (inter-RAT) mobility and inter-frequency handover, as well as ensuring compliance with Open RAN specifications.
Samsung’s fully virtualized, software-based RAN runs on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers, offering features and performance that are equivalent to traditional hardware-based equipment.
Using a cloud-native and container-based architecture, the company’s vRAN enables more flexible deployments and network management efficiencies for mobile operators, while helping them meet the demands of deploying new and existing services.
?Open RAN can radically evolve the telecoms industry, and we are excited to champion the technology in the UK,? said Dona.
?This is an ecosystem which is only a few years old but the progress we have made so far is quite remarkable. Not only have we begun the first scaled deployment in the UK, but we have also installed the first 5G Open RAN site. Open RAN is now a real-world technology and it is truly exciting to see this technology flourish.?
Thomas Riedel, Head of Samsung Networks Europe at Samsung Electronics said, ?Samsung is proud to collaborate with Vodafone UK to switch on the UK’s first 5G Open RAN site.?
?This will help deliver the benefits of our carrier-grade 5G vRAN solutions to millions of Vodafone UK customers. Through our accumulated commercial 5G vRAN experience with leading operators across major markets globally, we look forward to pushing the boundaries of technological innovation and supporting the 5G journey across Europe,? he added.