Vodafone deploys routers to cost-effectively upgrade to 5G

Vodafone has started the deployment of disaggregated cell site gateway routers to cost-effectively upgrade 4G cell sites to 5G and add more 5G sites.
Vodafone 5G ItalyVodafone can source these routers – called Disaggregated Cell Site Gateways (DCSG) — from multiple vendors. These are based on open architecture and standard APIs. They replace existing single supplier, monolithic routers, giving Vodafone a more flexible way of building transport networks to support customer’s need for fast connectivity.

In addition, these DCSG routers can transport customer traffic over mobile backhaul fibre links, as well as support enterprise customers’ dedicated connections, at speeds of up to 100 gigabit per second. This allows Vodafone to support exponential growth in mobile data and internet usage across the entire network.

Vodafone pioneered the development and testing of DCSG routers under the auspices of the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) industry body. They have been put through their paces during initial technical trials in Romania and South Africa, in partnership with Vodacom, during 2020 and 2021, demonstrating the capability of the DCSG to support any mobile technology and to interwork with Vodafone suppliers.

Following further tests in Turkey earlier this year, Vodafone is now installing them within the live network, starting deployment from South Marmara to further extend the deployment – across the rest of the country.

Santiago Tenorio, Director of Vodafone Network Architecture, said: “The growing nature of internet traffic continually tests the capacity limits of cell sites everywhere. By opening the door to greater vendor diversity and network automation, we can stay ahead of the curve and bring new mobile sites online more quickly and cheaply.”

DCSG routers work using open software and hardware from multiple vendors, and for the first time, interconnect with cell sites running on radio equipment from both new Open RAN and traditional vendors.

Vodafone said it is using hardware from Edgecore Networks Corporation, a subsidiary of Taiwanese company Accton Technology Corporation and a provider for the latest open networking Technology, together with software from the German networking and software company ADVA, for the rollout in Turkey.