Vodafone Spain to locate O-RAN facility in its Malaga hub

Vodafone Spain said the hub will have 1,000 employees at the end of 2024

Spanish telco Vodafone announced plans to locate what it claims to be Spain’s largest laboratory for Open RAN (O-RAN) networks in its technology center in Malaga.

The telco noted that this plan will enable the company to reach 1,000 employees at the facility by the end of the year.

The operator also said that the new facility will enable it to replace many of the manual processes that currently consume a lot of time with operations without intervention. This will make it faster and cheaper to introduce new software updates and install new 5G functions for customers, Vodafone said.

This initiative forms part of Vodafone’s €225 million ($243 million) investment plan in the center and the global initiative to recruit almost 7,000 software engineers across Europe by 2025, through a combination of recruitment, skills training for current employees and internalization.

Vodafone also highlighted that the creation of the largest O-RAN laboratory in Malaga will accelerate the adoption of the technology and encourage industry participation, adapting solutions to specific use cases demanded by different sectors.

From the Malaga hub, Vodafone collaborates closely with the University of Malaga (UMA), through the joint development of R&D projects such as advanced analytics on the Vodafone IoT platform and O-RAN research projects, among others.

Vodafone had opened its Malaga hub in 2022 to spur the development of O-RAN chips and other telco technology.

In October 2023, Vodafone Group announced that it had entered into binding agreements with Zegona Communications in relation to the sale of Vodafone Spain.

Vodafone noted that the completion of the transaction is conditional on certain approvals being obtained from current Zegona shareholders as well as regulatory clearances and is expected to take place in the first half of 2024.

Vodafone and Zegona will enter into a brand license agreement, which permits the use of the Vodafone brand in Spain for up to 10 years post-completion. Vodafone and Zegona will enter into other transitional and long-term arrangements for services including access to procurement, IoT, roaming and carrier services.

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