Vodafone and Nokia have formed a strategic alliance in Italy to drive the expansion of the Open Radio Access Network (ORAN). The partnership aims to establish an inclusive ecosystem, inviting independent software providers, startups, and local businesses to participate in the telecom industry by creating applications and services through open APIs.
According to both companies, the core objective of this collaboration is to launch a commercial pilot project for 5G Open RAN technology, leveraging advanced wireless communication for faster data speeds and reduced latency. The project’s aim is to also showcase that Open RAN can attain the same levels of functionality and performance as conventional proprietary RAN technology.
To achieve this, the project relies on Nokia‘s software for the control and management of the radio access network, operating within isolated environments referred to as containers. These containerized baseband software components are designed to run on the Red Hat OpenShift hybrid cloud application platform, which is Kubernetes-powered. The entire infrastructure is hosted on Dell PowerEdge XR8000 servers, designed to support Open RAN and edge computing workloads.
“Through greater collaboration, Vodafone and Nokia will also foster a new developer ecosystem in our home markets by providing a live software-based open network on which to launch innovative products and services for our customers,” says Alberto Ripepi, chief network officer at Vodafone.
Nokia has adopted a collaborative approach known as anyRAN for Open RAN, enabling communication service providers (CSPs) to build and manage their wireless networks using more open technologies. Nokia allows CSPs to implement Cloud RAN with their preferred server hardware and Cloud-as-a-Service layer. This adaptability allows CSPs to choose the most suitable hardware and cloud services tailored to their unique demands.
Both companies share a common vision of creating a network that is automated and programmable, capable of adapting to customer requirements. They are collaborating to establish open and interoperable networks that can effectively operate with various technologies and equipment, promoting compatibility and flexibility.
“Vodafone’s 5G Open RAN pilot is a leading example of collaboration in action, and we are pleased to bring Red Hat OpenShift as an interoperable, consistent, and scalable foundation for Open RAN,” says Shlomi Moscovici, vice president of Telco, Media and Entertainment for EMEA at Red Hat.
5G | Nokia | Open RAN | Vodafone