Vodafone Group took a giant leap forward in its commitment to OpenRAN, outlining plans for a tender covering its entire European footprint barely a month after announcing its first trials of the technology in the region.

The move is a major boost for so-called “alternative” network vendors including Mavenir and Parallel Wireless, as the operator aims to expand its supplier options beyond traditional players.

An initiative forming part of the Telecom Infrastructure Project’s efforts to improve RAN efficiency, OpenRAN offers a software-centric approach based on commoditized hardware. The aim is to boost interoperability between equipment from multiple vendors, an approach deemed more cost-effective in terms of delivering rural connectivity than traditional approaches.

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