Vodafone expands the commercial Open RAN network in Romania, in partnership with Samsung

Vodafone expands the commercial Open RAN network in Romania, in partnership with Samsung

Samsung provides Vodafone with its vRAN solution supporting multi-RAT, automation solutions and Open RAN-compliant triple-band radios as well as 5G Massive MIMO radios

Vodafone Romania is expanding, in partnership with Samsung, the Open RAN network project, tested last year, with new sites in 20 cities across the country, to deliver stable and high-quality network services to Vodafone’s customers.

Samsung provides Vodafone with its vRAN solution supporting multi-RAT (multi-Radio Access Technology – technology that allows the device to simultaneously connect to at least one network cell), automation solutions and Open RAN-compliant triple-band radios as well as 5G Massive MIMO radios. Samsung's triple-band radio combines 700MHz, 800MHz and 900MHz frequency bands into one compact radio that provides multi-spectrum coverage for 2G, 4G and 5G services, enabling increased network capacity, greater flexibility, but also energetic efficiency. In addition, it is useful for the development of Internet of Everything (IoE), machine-to-machine (M2M) communications and voice communications for roaming services in Europe.

Nicolae Vilceanu, Chief Network Officer, Vodafone Romania, stated: "Open RAN technology opens up new horizons for expanding the networks and for improving their capacity. As we see generative Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies becoming an integral part of the services offered by companies and the public sector, the network itself needs to be intelligent, secure, adaptable and able to integrate innovations and with an energy consumption as low as possible. In addition, it makes it much simpler and more cost-effective for operators to share networks in isolated areas.”

Julia Kim, Corporate Vice President and Head of Samsung Electronics Romania, stated: “Collaborating with Vodafone in Romania exemplifies our commitment to drive Open RAN forward, delivering advanced, sustainable, and high-performing solution for the Open RAN ecosystem. As we continue to expand our footprint across Europe, we are excited to unlock the full potential of Open RAN for future networks.”

Today’s announcement follows successful tests Vodafone started with Samsung and other partners last year in Romania.

Vodafone has been at the forefront of building a stronger vendor ecosystem through Open RAN, including the integration of multi-vendor hardware and software, and more recently, new dedicated silicon architecture.

In Romania Vodafone is working with several partners, including Samsung for 2G, 4G and 5G radio and baseband units (for transmitting customer traffic from the mast to the core network), Dell PowerEdge servers designed for cloud-based Open RAN workloads from Dell Technologies, and Containers as a Service (CaaS) software from Wind River (also known as abstraction layer software).

The project, as well as being a follow-on to the successful shared commercial Open RAN network trials carried out last year, complements Vodafone's series of similar trials in Europe, as well as the deployment of Open RAN across 2,500 Vodafone sites in the UK, started in August 2023.

Open RAN, unlike traditional single-supplier mobile sites, decouples software and hardware functionalities. This encourages a more diverse vendor supply chain, which in turn drives new software innovations and energy efficiency improvements. Customers benefit from a highly responsive mobile network which can be scaled quickly and cost effectively to meet peaks in demand, as well as new cloud-based services. This allows operators to reduce costs by sharing all hardware components (radio units and Cloud infrastructure) while independently managing their own RAN software on a common cloud infrastructure. As a result, each company can tailor services and capacity to their specific customer needs, while ensuring a strong and secure isolation between each operator’s data.

Also, in future, Open RAN’s superior flexibility will allow customers to take full advantage of 5G Standalone (5GSA), which upgrades the telecoms network core as well as the radio antennas. An advanced 5GSA network will deliver low latency applications and private ‘network slicing’ for industries of all sizes to help revitalise Europe’s industrial base.

About Vodafone

Vodafone is the largest pan-European and African telecoms company. We provide mobile and fixed services to over 300 million customers in 17 countries, partner with mobile networks in 45 more and have one of the world’s largest IoT platforms. In Africa, our financial technology businesses serve more than 76 million customers across eight countries – managing more transactions than any other provider.

Our purpose is to connect for a better future by using technology to improve lives, businesses and help progress inclusive sustainable societies. We are committed to reducing our environmental impact to reach net zero emissions by 2040.

For more information, please visit www.vodafone.com, follow us on X (formerly Twitter) at @VodafoneGroup or connect with us on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/vodafone.

About Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.

Samsung inspires the world and shapes the future with transformative ideas and technologies. The company is redefining the worlds of TVs, smartphones, wearable devices, tablets, home appliances, network systems, and memory, system LSI, foundry and LED solutions, and delivering a seamless connected experience through its SmartThings ecosystem and open collaboration with partners. For the latest news, please visit the Samsung Newsroom at news.samsung.com