back to article Vodafone bets big on OpenRAN as it replaces its Huawei estate in rural Wales and South West England

UK network provider Vodafone is proposing to deploy OpenRAN hardware across 2,600 sites in rural Wales and the South West of England - the LTE masts will replace the carrier's existing Huawei estate. Deployment is expected to start in 2022, said Voda, with the rollout concluding in 2027, ahead of the government's rip-and- …

  1. flingback

    Fibire to the radio head...

    Given the amount of potentially dark fibre required for OpenRAN this is going to be quite an interesting roll-out. The "rural" bit is particularly fascinating as I think that this technology really works for densification in cities where there already is a lot of fibre already installed and there is a big drive for capacity. A lot of the places where there are rural sites won't readily lend themselves to the CU, DU, RU model on the distance restrictions so I am not sure it will be as cost effective as they think it will.

  2. IGotOut Silver badge


    They are just a bunch of country bumpkins, so doesn't matter if the service is crap, they are used to it.

    1. steelpillow Silver badge

      Re: Translation.

      Well, given the utter snail-outpaced gobshite we yokels are currently foisted off with as "superfast broadband", a little experimental rollout of next-generation gobshite can hardly be worse. ATM I have a Vodafone mobile router sitting on my windowsill, with "BT get f*cked" graffiti-ed on it, and giving me ca 4 x said f*ckers' bandwidth, i.e. a reasonably fit snail. They will at least want to bill my traffic, and if there isn't any then they can't fecking bill for it, so at least some basic functionality will have to be there.

      Just praying that I count as "South West" and not "West Midlands".

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free market failure

    I love the quote:

    "The relatively limited amount of competition in the RAN market has been described as a "global market failure" by Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden, and a "failure of capitalism" and free markets by Canadian academic Amy Karam.

    It is the exact opposite, those who invested in R&D and achieved global scale survived. This is the very definition of free markets and capitalism :-).

    What he means is he misses the 1970s, when Telecom was a state owned industry, progress & innovation was defined as taking a mere 6 months to get a new phone line and you needed a second mortgage to afford a long distance call.

    Does anyone really believe the government knows best how to build 5G network equipment ?

    1. Weylin

      Re: Free market failure

      You're confusing the provision of equipment with the provision of a network service. He's talking about market failure in the provision of equipment not in the provision of a network. A limited number of vendors is a sign of market failure in what ought to be a free market. Networks on the other hand are natural monopolies so we don't expect to see many.

      Furthermore, these are examples not definitions and they are examples of capitalism but not of free markets.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only....

    If only Huawei was such a security risk as Trump portrays them, now would be the perfect time to use their capabilities to have Trump booted out of office.

    but then again... he doesn't need any help in that department :)

  5. NeilPost Silver badge

    Work or not?

    “When asked about the decision to select Wales and South West England, a Vodafone representative said the current OpenRAN ecosystem is best geared to rural deployments, rather than traffic-heavy urban systems.”

    “ "The technology works. There's still a lot of development that needs to happen, but it does work," the spokesperson added.”

    Sounds like it doesn’t work/scale then.

    If Vodafone are wanting to increase market/vendor diversity suggest they do a Verizon and plump for Samsung OpenRAN kit and fuck off Huawei... and Ericsson and Nokia.

    1. Caver_Dave Silver badge

      Not just Samsung working for Verizon. Try Wind River and Intel as well.

      Already actively spreading across USA.

    2. EnviableOne Silver badge

      Re: Work or not?

      SAM are already the best of the rest in the RAN market, so why boost them, if OpenRAN is trully open, why not go for a new market entrant.

      from the info available they will probably pick up some servers from the usual suspects and run Parrallels Wireless software on it...

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