Vodafone has approached Japanese-American suppliers to fill a void left by Huawei’s 5G supply chain after the UK telecommunications company awarded Europe’s first major open RAN contract to a number of alternative suppliers.
The carrier has awarded contracts to Samsung Electronics, NEC, Dell and Wind River to build Europe’s first open RAN commercial network. Capgemini, French consulting group և Keysight Technologies USA will work on network integration.
The deal gives Samsung և NEC a huge boost to Asian hardware suppliers, which in the 4G era competed with Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia as telecommunications companies looked for smaller suppliers to build 5G networks. :
“Open RAN” is a concept that threatens to break the choke of the largest suppliers of telecommunications equipment in the wireless market, who are closely associated with software and proprietary equipment. The open system allows small potentially innovative suppliers to enter the 5G market, and the US and British governments are defending themselves as a way to increase competition from Huawei, one of the top 5 networks, by banning the largest supplier of accessories.
Last year, a decision by the UK government to ban the use of new Huawei devices for 5G networks from 2021 and to discontinue existing equipment by 2027 prompted operators, including Vodafone և Telefónica, to expedite plans to use alternative radio suppliers.
The UK Government ը The European Commission has promoted the concept of ‘open RAN’ as a way to boost the technology industry by opening up large telecommunications costs to smaller local hardware and software providers. Both the UK and German governments have made public funding available for the development of open RAN technology, but have stopped subsidizing companies such as Vodafone to replace Huawei equipment.
This has caused tensions in the industry, as Ericsson and Nokia, Europe’s largest technology companies, are already offering alternatives to Huawei.
Preliminary Vodafone contracts, awarded months later after trials by various RAN vendors, have passed to Asian-American suppliers. The company has announced that it may use vendors in Europe in the future. “With the support of the European Commission քաղաքական EU national governments’ political-industrial policy, open RAN has the potential to attract more European companies to this emerging market,” it said.
Initial work will be carried out in the UK, where the 2,500 masts in the south-west of the country, which cover most of Wales, will be upgraded using open RAN equipment. Over time, it will spread RAN’s open drive to Europe and Africa.
Johann Viberg, Vodafone’s chief technology officer, said the overhaul of the network would increase the flexibility of operators. “Open RAN also enlivens our industry. “It will boost the digital economy by boosting greater technological innovation from a wider range of vendors, bringing much-needed diversity to the supply chain,” he said.