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Open RAN Project: Samsung, Vodafone, and Orange Trial 4G in Romania

Photo by Dan V / Unsplash

Seoul, South Korea - In partnership with Vodafone and Orange, Samsung Electronics has launched 4G calls over shared commercial networks using a virtualized radio access network (vRAN) in selected areas of Romania.

This was part of an Open RAN pilot project.

Why It Matters:

The collaboration between Samsung, Vodafone, and Orange represents a notable advancement in using Open RAN for European mobile networks.

As 5G becomes more widespread, these trials highlight the industry's pursuit of efficient, scalable, and flexible network solutions.

The Key Points

  • Samsung's software-centric network solutions were used in the Open RAN pilot, allowing Vodafone and Orange to explore the capabilities of the Open RAN ecosystem.
  • Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics, noted Samsung's ongoing commitment to Open RAN and its European efforts, citing Open RAN projects in the UK.
  • Following Open RAN evaluations at Vodafone UK and Orange's lab in France, Samsung contributed its multi-RAT vRAN software and Open RAN-compliant radios to the initiative.

The Big Picture

Vodafone and Orange have completed 4G calls over their Open RAN sites, with plans to integrate 2G soon. 5G is expected to follow.

In 2023, Vodafone and Orange revealed plans to evaluate Open RAN and RAN sharing in Europe.

RAN sharing, by enabling the sharing of network components, can reduce hardware and energy costs and minimize site duplication, potentially leading to wider adoption of Open RAN in Europe.

This development highlights the ability of Open RAN to modernize traditional hardware-centric mobile networks.

It suggests potential improvements in RAN efficiency, functionality, and service introduction rates.

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