Vodafone, Mavenir complete first call over containerized 4G OpenRAN solution

On Tuesday, Mavenir, and Vodafone announced that they had completed the first data and VoLTE call across a containerized 4G small cell Open RAN solution in a lab environment.

Mavenir, Vodafone make a call over Open RAN solution

The companies said in a statement, “the completed tests are the latest steps forward to delivering an open and vendor-interoperable 4G connectivity solution for small to medium-sized office locations”. The solution, aimed to work in office environments, can ensure coverage across the campus. Furthermore, Mavenir said that the solution will, at first, provide 4G coverage; the company will use radio hardware from Sercomm and software from Mavenir (Open RAN).

Moving forward, Vodafone and Mavenir will focus on finalizing the packaging and automation of the solution before beginning trials.

Stefano Cantarelli, EVP and CMO, Mavenir, said, “Cloud Native and Open Solutions are becoming the new reality of the mobile world, and these include Radio Access and its containerized implementation”. Cantarelli called the Open vRAN “a very flexible architecture”. He further said, “Mavenir is really pleased to work with Vodafone in the enterprise business and achieved another first together. It is an opportunity to show that automated and AI-controlled systems will simplify life to business and industry”.

Andrea Dona, CNO, Vodafone UK, said, “Open RAN is opening doors to simplified and intuitive connectivity solutions. For our wider network deployment strategy, Open RAN is enabling us to work with a wider pool of suppliers and to avoid vendor lock-in scenarios that might prevent us from taking advantage of the latest innovations”.

Dona also added that with Open RAN, Vodafone’s customers will have multiple upgrade paths. Further, she added, “working alongside Vodafone, customers can be more flexible in how connectivity solutions are adapted and upgraded as demands evolve in the future”.

What is Containerization?

Notably, Mavenir and Vodafone ran the test call over a containerized solution, which they called a “major milestone”. As such, containerization allows a network operator to transfer software between equipment, platforms, and applications. In this particular test, Wind River Studio provided the Containers as a Service (CaaS) software. Furthermore, containerization provides greater flexibility for customers, but also significant benefits in terms of speed and cost of deployment.

Open RAN technology separates software from hardware, meaning more flexibility for mobile operators and customers. The approach will see many companies providing the components that make up a mobile network site; earlier, only one vendor would have delivered the whole solution.

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