Verizon has deployed more than 130,000 Open RAN capable radios, the company revealed today (February 5).

The telco, which has long been an advocate of the technology, noted that the figure includes the massive MIMO radios as part of the previously announced 15,000 O-RAN compliant virtualized cell sites with O-RAN compliant baseband units in its commercial RAN.

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Open RAN promotes a new breed of telecoms kit that allows providers to ‘mix and match’ solutions from multiple vendors, which is impossible with proprietary network equipment.

"Verizon is fully supportive of O-RAN technology and is focused on commercializing an operationally sound O-RAN architecture,” said Adam Koeppe, SVP of technology planning at Verizon. 

“Our commitment to developing O-RAN standards and to deploying compliant equipment in our active Radio Access Network is helping to drive the industry forward which will result in a variety of tangible benefits for our customers."

Telcos are expected to invest more than $30 billion in Open RAN by the end of the decade, according to analyst firm Counterpoint Research.

Verizon acknowledged its shift towards a more virtualized network, as part of modernization plans to its network architecture.

The operator notes that the deployment of vRAN (virtualized Radio Access Network) can "provide more flexibility, faster delivery of services, greater scalability, and significant cost efficiency in the network."

By September 2022, Verizon had installed 8,000 of its vRAN sites and is aiming to deploy 20,000 by the end of 2025.

"By committing to ‘open’ principles, operators can disaggregate and put software innovation at the heart of their 5G networks," said Kristian Toivo, executive director Telecom Infra Project, an organization focused on industry collaboration within networks.

"Enabling multi-vendor solutions will lower network build-out costs over time and open up new opportunities for revenue generation, with savings passed on to the consumer."