Vodafone Ireland claims it will become the first operator in the country to switch on Open RAN sites, having entered into a partnership agreement with US-based provider of Open RAN solutions Parallel Wireless. In a press release outlining the development, Vodafone noted that the technology – which is being initially trialled in North Kildare and then rolled out across the North West region – will deliver 4G service coverage to 30 locations ‘in a faster and more cost efficient way’. Meanwhile, the cellco has said it will also seek to pioneer the use of system integrators to further improve product automation covering zero touch provisioning, testing and operational process definition for Open RAN, and in doing so, further developing the ecosystem to include RAN automation vendors.
Commenting on the switch-on, Vodafone Ireland’s chief technology officer Didier Clavero said: ‘Delivering Open RAN sites is a pivotal moment in the provision of mobile coverage to rural communities in Ireland, as this pioneering new approach reduces cost, increases flexibility and enables new suppliers to support the expansion of Vodafone’s mobile network in hard to reach areas. Focusing on the North West region to begin with, we will continue to identify communities across Ireland where we can more economically introduce access to voice and high speed data using the new technology.’