Vodafone has announced a dedicated research and development centre at its new digital skills hub in Málaga, Spain. The company said it will be the first hub in Europe that focuses on the development of improved chips for Open RAN networks. With Open RAN networks, the hardware and software of mobile base stations are separated allowing for more interoperability between mobile network operators and multiple hardware vendors.
The new hub has just become operational today and employs 650 software engineers, architects, and technicians. In addition, Vodafone will add a further 50 employees who will focus on developing the new Open RAN chips to boost the capabilities of the hardware.
Commenting on the news, Francisco Martin, Head of Open RAN, Vodafone, said:
“As a pioneer of Open RAN, Vodafone is joining forces with specialist technology companies to expand the ecosystem. Silicon innovation will strengthen Europe’s position in the global market and speed up the roll out of new digital services.”
Vodafone didn’t say exactly what type of benefits users should expect from newly developed chips but hopefully, the improvements lead to faster overall speeds and improved handling of traffic when many users are connecting to a network at once such as in residential areas at the end of the workday.