UK operator Vodafone wants everyone to know how much it’s ramping 5G, but the big news was the hard launch of 5G RAN sharing.
The approved acronym is MORAN (multi-operator radio access network) and Vodafone reckons it’s the first operator in the UK to ‘support’ it. While there is already extensive passive infrastructure sharing between Vodafone and O2 via CTIL, this new set up involves the active radio. Not only will this save the companies money on buying new kit, it’s also more energy efficient. How, if at all, sharing the RAN will affect the 5G performance of each operator.
Vodafone’s announcement focused more on the fact that it’s now offering 5G roaming to the Republic of Ireland, which it seems to think is a big deal and that it has switched on 5G in Belfast, Edinburgh and Leeds. This year will see a succession of ‘look how much 5G we’re doing’ announcements, so just get used to it OK?
“We have started the new year as we mean to go on,” said Vodafone UK CEO Nick Jeffery. “We now offer 5G in double the number of places than our nearest rival and we have significantly boosted the capacity of our network. It is ready for the arrival in 2020 of some great new 5G handsets and the next big software release bringing ultra-low latency. Together, these will push 5G to the next level.”
In other news, Vodafone has been designated the most improved UK network by Umlaut (previously P3), which has a whiff of damning with faint praise about it.