The two companies have made a 5G live video call using Samsung’s 5G virtualised RAN to mark the deployment of the first site
Samsung Electronics and Vodafone UK have launched the UK’s first 5G Open Radio Access Network (RAN) site in Bath to carry live customer traffic.
The launch, which will be followed by more than 2,500 additional sites, marks the beginning of Vodafone’s scaled Open RAN network architecture in Europe.
The two companies have successfully made a 5G live video call using Samsung’s 5G virtualised RAN to mark the deployment of the first site.
Vodafone UK chief network officer Andrea Dona said: “Open RAN can radically evolve the telecoms industry, and we are excited to champion the technology in the UK.
“This is an ecosystem which is only a few years old but the progress we have made so far is quite remarkable.
“Not only have we begun the first scaled deployment in the UK, but we have also installed the first 5G Open RAN site. Open RAN is now a real-world technology and it is truly exciting to see this technology flourish.”
Vodafone and Samsung are expected to test Samsung vRAN’s telco-grade performance metrics and features in the coming months.
The features to be tested include security, inter-Radio Access Technology (inter-RAT) mobility and inter-frequency handover. The tests will also be carried to ensure compliance with Open RAN specifications.
To help improve mobile user experiences, the companies will also test other advanced network technologies such as Dynamic Spectrum Sharing (DSS) and E-UTRAN New Radio Dual Connectivity (EN-DC) that leverage both LTE and 5G technologies.
Taking into account traffic demands, DSS assigns time-frequency resources to accommodate users of both LTE and 5G in the same frequency band. EN-DC is designed to boost 5G speeds, reliability and coverage by combining the resources of 4G and 5G networks.
Vodafone and Samsung are expected to carry out the testing in the first half of this year.
In June last year, Samsung Electronics was chosen by Vodafone UK as a leading vendor to support a wide-scale 5G commercial deployment in Europe.