Vodafone opens new European R&D Centre in Malaga
Vodafone announces that it has opened Europe’s first dedicated R&D centre for the advancement of microchip architecture to power new Open RAN networks.
The centre will be housed in Vodafone’s new digital skills hub in Malaga, Spain, which became operational today. 50 people dedicated to developing Open RAN will join the 650 skilled software engineers, architects and technicians that will be based in at the hub. In line with previous announcements, Vodafone says it will invest EUR 225 million over five years in the hub in Malaga.
Vodafone says in a press release that around 20 vendors specialising in chip architecture design and development will join the company to enhance Open RAN capabilities. The focus for the R&D Centre is on establishing a strong ecosystem for silicon design in Europe.
One core strength of Open RAN is that it separates the hardware and software at a mobile base station, allowing for a mix of equipment from different vendors. By collaborating with vendors on microchip architecture and design, Vodafone says it can drive greater interoperability within the Open RAN ecosystem.
“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”, says Francisco Martin, Head of Open RAN, Vodafone, in the press release.
Besides Open RAN, the new centralised European Research and Development Centre will specialise in developing new technology solutions and digital services based on unified communications, the Internet of Things (IoT), Edge Computing and Mobile Private Networks (MPN).