Vodafone pioneers 5G stand-alone roaming hub
5G Standalone (SA) shouldn’t be just that. At Vodafone we believe in using our scale and technical know-how to expand and democratise digital connectivity. That is why we have created a (pre-standard) 5G SA roaming hub lab and successfully emulated roaming hub services for use by other mobile operators and ourselves.
This builds on our existing 4G and non-standalone 5G roaming hub which provides more than 90 existing mobile operators and businesses with global roaming connectivity for around 750 million customers worldwide. Connecting to a communal pure 5G hub will allow the industry to offer 5G SA roaming to many more people much faster and more cost-effectively, eliminating the need to painstakingly launch the service with hundreds of roaming partners on a bilateral basis.
It has been a great team effort between our technology, roaming and business teams, together with NTT Data, to take this further step towards commercial 5G roaming. We continue to work with the relevant industry bodies to include roaming hub requirements in the 5G industry standards, which will allow mobile operators and their suppliers to bring true 5G roaming to end users. The lab will be upgraded to the upcoming standard architecture, following GSMA / 3GPP endorsement.
Like the domestic 5G SA service we launched in Germany recently, it is in all our interests to extend these benefits for all customers … wherever they may roam.