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Business News/ Companies / News/  Vodafone Idea launches pilot with Mavenir for commercial Open RAN deployment
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Vodafone Idea launches pilot with Mavenir for commercial Open RAN deployment

The telco is exploring next-generation radio solutions that promise long-term benefits, including the potential for widespread 5G deployment

Vodafone Idea will consider fundraising at a board meeting on 27 February. (Photo: Reuters)Premium
Vodafone Idea will consider fundraising at a board meeting on 27 February. (Photo: Reuters)

New Delhi: Vodafone Idea has initiated a pilot deployment of commercial Open RAN technology in collaboration with Mavenir, a provider of open radio access network technology.

Mavenir is in advanced commercial phase of this deployment, the two companies said in a statement.

The deployment, which started in September 2023, is currently handling live commercial traffic across key sites, setting the stage for a broader rollout, the telecom service provider said.

Jagbir Singh, chief technical officer, Vodafone Idea, emphasized the transformative potential of Open RAN technology, underlining its expected contribution to network enhancement, cost efficiency, and the introduction of open interfaces, which are poised to propel the industry forward.

The telco is exploring next-generation radio solutions that promise long-term benefits, including the potential for widespread 5G deployment. Unlike its competitors, Reliance Jio and Airtel, who have opted for traditional 5G technologies from Nokia and Ericsson, Vodafone Idea is only carrier to look at deploying Open RAN technology for commercial purposes.

Open RAN technology enables telecom operators to source hardware and software from different suppliers to deploy them for mobile networks. This approach aims to broaden the range of vendors in the ecosystem and eliminate dependencies on single vendors.

This development comes close on the heels of Vodafone Idea's board announcement that it will consider proposals for its long-pending fundraise through equity on 27 February. The carrier said that funds may be raised in one or more tranches by way of a rights issue, public offer, private placement, among others.

“Mavenir is actively engaged in building out the ecosystem that will deliver next-generation Open RAN technology platforms enhancing customer experience across India – powering greater growth, flexibility, customisation and customer-focused innovation, while driving down capex and opex for operators," said BG Kumar, president Access Networks, Platforms, and Digital Enablement at Mavenir.

The pilot marks Vodafone Idea's first deployment of O-RAN-compliant technology, leveraging the N78 and N258 mm-wave spectrum bands and B1 supporting NSA architecture.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Gulveen Aulakh
Gulveen covers both corporate and economy, and policy sections of Mint. She also covers telecom, IT from the corporate side and disinvestment, finance ministry from the economy side. Gulveen finds the rare mix of sectors she covers to be incredibly interesting.
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Published: 23 Feb 2024, 05:39 PM IST
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