Vodafone has announced the completion of a three-month Open RAN trial with Nokia in Northern Italy.

The telco, which recently announced the sale of its Italian business to Swisscom, said it's been able to successfully trial a live 5G standalone (5G SA) test network in the towns of Arcisate and Sernio on the fringes of The Alps.

Vodafone Italy Open RAN
– Vodafone

Vodafone has been one of Open RAN's biggest advocates, first deploying the technology in the UK last year.

By 2030, the operator said it aims to have 30 percent of its masts based on the technology as part of its Open RAN deployment strategy.

Open RAN is the latest development of radio access networks, or RAN, which connect mobile devices to the core network via base stations. The open approach allows for a new breed of telecoms kit that enables providers to ‘mix and match’ solutions from multiple vendors.

Vodafone revealed in October that it had opted to work with Nokia for its Open RAN trial in Italy, noting at the time that the pilot will cover a cluster of sites in northern Italy, and will involve Nokia containerized baseband software running on Red Hat OpenShift, hosted on Dell PowerEdge XR8000 servers.

During the trial, Vodafone said it was able to clock mobile data download speeds of up to 1.1 Gbps and 160 Mbps uplink.

“Vodafone is dedicated to supporting the development and adoption of Open RAN worldwide by fostering a diverse ecosystem of partners and solutions," said Santiago Tenorio, Vodafone director of network architecture.

"This approach offers numerous benefits, including increased choice, enhanced energy efficiency, higher network capacity, and improved performance for customers.”

Vodafone has also previously trialed Open RAN technology in Romania, while working with domestic rival Orange to carry out several 4G calls over a number of shared commercial network sites in a rural area near Bucharest, based on Open RAN technology.