Samsung, AMD and Vodafone claim Open RAN data call first

Processor giant AMD has announced that in collaboration with Vodafone and Samsung Electronics it has successfully demonstrated an end-to-end call using open radio access network (Open RAN) technology, representing what the companies say is their technical leadership in enriching the Open RAN ecosystem throughout the industry.

Moreover, the joint demonstration is said by Samsung and Vodafone to stress their ongoing commitment to reinforce their position in the Open RAN market and expand their ecosystem with industry-leading partners. This broader and growing Open RAN ecosystem they say will help operators to build and modernise mobile networks with greater flexibility, faster time-to-market (TTM) and unmatched performance.

In June 2021, Samsung became a strategic partner for Vodafone to carry out its vision to modernise legacy networks and grow a strong Open RAN ecosystem. In August 2023, the companies expanded their collaboration, with what they called the largest Open RAN roll-out in the UK. A month later, Samsung announced a collaboration with AMD to advance 5G vRAN and virtualised Open RAN for network transformation.

“Open RAN represents the forthcoming major transformation in advancing mobile networks for the future. Reaching this milestone with top industry partners like Samsung and AMD shows Vodafone’s dedication to delivering on the promise of Open RAN innovation,” said Nadia Benabdallah, network strategy and engineering director at Vodafone Group. “Vodafone is continually looking to innovate its network by exploring the potential and diversity of the ecosystem.”

June Moon, executive vice-president and head of research and development (R&D) for the networks business at Samsung Electronics, said the collective effort marked a key milestone for the mobile network industry to steer Open RAN forward, by embracing multiple providers at every layer of the network stack.

“The demo illustrates Samsung’s commitment to delivering the full potential of mobile networks by embracing openness,” she said. “Samsung is constantly working with other technology frontrunners to offer operators the means to transform their networks and capitalise on the diversity of the Open RAN ecosystem.”

From left: Junehee Lee (Samsung Electronics), June Moon (Samsung Electronics), Nadia Benabdallah (Vodafone Group), Yago Tenorio (Vodafone Group), Alberto Ripepi (Vodafone Group), Woojune Kim (Samsung Electronics)

Conducted in Samsung’s R&D lab in Korea, the Open RAN call was completed using Samsung’s, O-RAN-compliant, virtualised RAN (vRAN) software, powered by AMD EPYC 8004 Series processors on Supermicro’s Telco/Edge servers, supported by Wind River Studio’s Container-as-a-Service platform. This demonstration aimed to verify optimised performance, energy efficiency and interoperability among partners’ solutions.

“The telco industry continues to demand new levels of performance and energy efficiency with increasingly complex workloads and stringent efficiency targets,” said Kumaran Siva, corporate vice-president of strategic market development at AMD. “AMD EPYC 8004 Series CPUs are optimised for modern edge and vRAN deployment models to enable the telco industry’s current evolution toward truly end-to-end open, virtualised networks.”

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