Vodafone UK Trials Cheaper, Open Source Mast Tech

By Gary Cutlack on at

This fairly complicated bit of hardcore comms technology news from Vodafone seems quite important, if we understand it right, as it promises to lower the cost of mobile mast installations and therefore opens a door to more masts and hopefully a resulting increase in coverage, perhaps even ending the blackspot hell where you live.

It's the first public test of the Open Radio Access Networks system in the UK, born from the Telecom Infra Project -- an initiative to break the stranglehold on the mobile tech hardware world currently enjoyed by the likes of Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia.

The idea behind OpenRAN being that a completely open source mobile hardware set can be developed and built by anyone outside of the big players and away from their awkward and costly patents, creating a "standardised, lower cost network" equipment build that anyone can produce to power their 2-5G network needs. Vodafone says it's already tested the tech in the lab and explains that: "More choice of suppliers will safeguard the delivery of services to all mobile customers, increase flexibility and innovation and, crucially, can help address some of the cost challenges that are holding back the delivery of internet services to rural communities and remote places across the world." [Vodafone]