Samsung Electronics today announced that it has been selected as a leading Open RAN vendor for Vodafone, a major telecommunications company, to bring virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) to the United Kingdom (UK), as well as its latest 4G and 5G solutions, including its Massive MIMO and other radios.

For this collaboration, Samsung will supply its commercial vRAN solutions and O-RAN compliant radios, covering both low-band and mid-band spectrum. The company’s fully virtualized RAN is software-based and runs on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) servers, offering features and performance that are equivalent to traditional hardware-based equipment. Using a cloud-native and container-based architecture, Samsung’s vRAN enables more flexible deployments and efficiency in network management for mobile operators.

Among the key benefits of the revolutionary architecture is its automation capabilities, which simplify end-to-end network management. With Samsung’s vRAN, operators can quickly meet the evolving demands of new and existing services with minimal impact on deployment. Samsung will also deliver to Vodafone UK its market leading O-RAN compliant 5G radios, including the latest Massive MIMO radios.

“Vodafone is committed to leading the next wave of digital transformation across Europe, ensuring fast and reliable connectivity for all,” said Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone. “Open RAN, built on strong partnerships, is key to realizing this ambition. Samsung’s innovative solutions and expertise are part of the foundation that is creating this network of the future.”

This collaboration with Vodafone marks a first for Samsung, as the company brings its cloud native virtualized RAN technology to a leading operator’s network in Europe. As acknowledged by many in the industry, virtualized RAN and O-RAN technologies will be important to helping evolve network architectures to power the next generation of 5G applications and services. To this end, Samsung has been continuously leading in vRAN innovation, most recently showing the capability to support the multi-gigabit speeds of Massive MIMO radios on COTS servers

“We are proud that this collaboration with Vodafone—one of the premier carriers in the world—will be the first scaled deployment of our pioneering 5G technologies in Europe, including vRAN and O-RAN,” said Paul Kyungwhoon Cheun, President and Head of Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “This is a major step forward, as more operators are transitioning into new RAN technologies to prioritize user experience and efficiency. We look forward to continue leading the way in 5G innovation to meet our customer’s highest standards of performance, functionality and reliability.”

Samsung has pioneered the successful delivery of 5G end-to-end solutions including chipsets, radios, and core. Through ongoing research and development, Samsung drives the industry to advance 5G networks with its market-leading product portfolio from fully virtualized RAN and Core to private network solutions and AI-powered automation tools. The company is currently providing network solutions to mobile operators that deliver connectivity to hundreds of millions of users around the world.