Vodafone UK and Mavenir collaborate over OpenRAN small cells


UK operator group Vodafone has enlisted the help of US software vendor Mavenir to see if they can add some OpenRAN secret sauce to small cells for businesses.

The two companies are among the most busy in the OpenRAN space, so its unsurprising to see them get the band back together for a spot of small cell action. This seems to be more about demonstrating that OpenRAN tech works in smaller form factors rather than some unique improvement offered to indoor connectivity.

“So far, OpenRAN deployment has focused on outdoor connectivity, but there is significant potential for this technology in the office environment,” said Andrea Dona, Chief Network Officer at Vodafone UK. “A simple plug-and-play product, which includes all the attractive benefits of the OpenRAN philosophy, is one that can build on our strength of providing indoor coverage through both our macro network and our bespoke solutions.”

“Mavenir is delighted to partner with Vodafone in Open RAN and to work in the UK on their radio network transformation initiative, proving the extreme flexibility of Open vRAN,” said Virtyt Koshi, SVP of Mavenir EMEA. “We are particularly proud in working in the field within the Vodafone commercial network and in the Newbury Open RAN Test and Verification lab, supporting the Vodafone effort to boost the ecosystem.”

It’s not clear what ‘all the attractive benefits of the OpenRAN philosophy’ are to Vodafone’s business customers and this would appear to be a significant marketing challenge. We all get that it’s handy for operators and politicians as it opens up the RAN vendor ecosystem, but until OpenRAN starts offering technological advantages and/or cost reductions, why should anyone else care?

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