Vodafone, Orange progress Romania open…

Vodafone Group and Orange have expanded a shared open RAN network pilot in Romania to include a wider number of rural areas and 2G virtualized RAN (vRAN) technology, an achievement the two positioned as a new milestone in cloud migration.

The partners labeled 2G vRAN as “a major step forward” and an opportunity for operators to bypass obligations to maintain the existing network on specialized hardware, while still deploying 4G and 5G “as an overlay”.

Vodafone and Orange used Samsung’s vRAN software along with the vendor’s open RAN-compatible radios, along with Wind River’s cloud platform and hardware from Dell Technologies.

The operators noted in their comparisons that open RAN and traditional architecture showed similar performance, with the former technology allowing greater automation and remote upgrades of mobile towers.

The two noted that their model “gives operators more freedom and autonomy in managing their own virtualized RAN software on a common cloud infrastructure, while sharing network operating costs.”

The latest moves build on a partnership between Orange and Vodafone unveiled in early 2023, which led to the pair successfully testing 4G calls over a shared open RAN network in October.

Vodafone also recently completed a three-month open RAN pilot with Nokia in Italy.