Vodafone today opened Europe’s first dedicated R&D centre for the advancement of microchip architecture to power new Open RAN networks.
The centre will be housed in Vodafone’s new digital skills hub in Málaga, Spain, which became operational today. 50 people dedicated to developing Open RAN will join the 650 skilled software engineers, architects and technicians that will be based in at the hub.
Around 20 vendors specialising in chip architecture design and development will join Vodafone to enhance Open RAN capabilities. The focus for the R&D Centre is on establishing a strong ecosystem for silicon design in Europe.
One core strength of Open RAN is that it separates the hardware and software at a mobile base station, allowing for a mix of equipment from different vendors. This means Vodafone can respond quickly to customer demand for more capacity and new services by simply adding new software onto general-purpose hardware.
By collaborating with vendors on microchip architecture and design, Vodafone can drive greater interoperability within the Open RAN ecosystem. The company will implement the jointly developed silicon solutions in its platforms to deliver improved performance and efficiencies as network capacity demands increase.
Francisco Martin, Head of Open RAN, Vodafone, explained: “As a pioneer of Open RAN, Vodafone is joining forces with specialist technology companies to expand the ecosystem. Silicon innovation will strengthen Europe’s position in the global market and speed up the roll out of new digital services.”
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