In a groundbreaking collaboration, Samsung Electronics, together with Vodafone and Orange, two major European telecommunications giants, have successfully completed the first-ever 4G calls over shared commercial networks in the rural expanses of Romania. This achievement was realized through a pioneering pilot project utilizing Open RAN technology and Samsung’s virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) solutions.

“Samsung has been raising the bar on what’s possible with vRAN and Open RAN, and we are delighted to work with Vodafone and Orange to be part of the first Open RAN sharing initiative in Romania,” said Junehee Lee, Executive Vice President, Head of Global Sales & Marketing, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “As we continue to expand our footprint across Europe, including the recent large-scale Open RAN deployments in the UK, we continue to push our innovative boundaries, empowering networks in Europe.”

This milestone follows Vodafone UK’s successful Open RAN deployment and Orange’s fruitful integration tests in its Open RAN lab in France. Samsung’s contribution to this initiative includes its multi-RAT vRAN software and Open RAN-compliant radios, which paved the way for successful 4G calls over their respective Open RAN sharing sites. The next steps involve introducing 2G, a first in a commercial Open RAN sharing environment in Europe, followed by the highly anticipated 5G integration.

The inception of this project stems from Vodafone and Orange’s mutual goal of trialing Open RAN with RAN sharing across Europe. By enabling the sharing of network components, RAN sharing significantly reduces hardware costs, energy consumption, and the need for duplicate sites, thus advancing the adoption of Open RAN technology throughout Europe.

This achievement is a testament to Open RAN’s ability to transform legacy hardware-based mobile networks, making them more sustainable and intelligent while expediting the introduction of innovative services.

Samsung’s legacy in the telecommunications industry extends to pioneering 5G end-to-end solutions, including chipsets, radios, and cores. Their relentless commitment to research and development drives the industry forward, with a diverse product portfolio spanning vRAN 3.0, Open RAN, Core, private network solutions, and AI-powered automation tools. Samsung continues to be the go-to provider of network solutions to mobile operators, connecting hundreds of millions of users worldwide.