Vodafone and Cohere Boost 5G Capacity by 50% in Test of New Software

Feb 21, 2024

Vodafone and Cohere Boost 5G Capacity by 50% in Test of New Software

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Vodafone has teamed up with Cohere Technologies to test new software that could efficiently and cost-effectively increase the capacity of 5G networks for customers by up to 50%.

Vodafone was able to demonstrate a major boost in bandwidth using Cohere’s Universal Spectrum Multiplier (USM) software at its multi-vendor, open radio access (Open RAN) network in Ciudad Real, near Madrid, Spain. Engineers from both companies registered improvements in performance using unmodified devices working on existing network antennas and hardware.

Speed boost for individual users

USM software allows Vodafone to reuse bandwidth and apportion it to individual users no matter which 4G and 5G spectrum band is being used. The software can be integrated at the mobile site or remotely in the cloud, increasing efficiency during deployment. It demonstrates how today’s programmable networks can be more easily expanded to meet growing customer demand without costly equipment upgrades.

Vodafone and Cohere are now working to encourage network vendors to develop radio access equipment with open interfaces to support software advances such as this.

Paco Martin, Head of Open RAN at Vodafone, explained that this is the first time the software has been tested on an urban network, and the company was impressed by its performance. He said: “we continuously search the world over for the best innovations that will benefit our customers. Cohere’s software has exceeded our expectations.”

Improved performance indoors and outside

As a continuation of their lab demonstration in 2021, Vodafone and Cohere recently put the USM software through its paces both indoors and outside using 10 MHz of spectrum in the 2.1 GHz band on multiple handsets. Next month, the companies intend to conduct additional tests whilst driving around the city.

“Thanks to Vodafone’s continued support, we have been able to test our USM software in the toughest of wireless network scenarios, demonstrating that we can improve network performance in all environments from rural to the most densely urban areas,” said Ray Dolan, chairman and CEO of Cohere Technologies. “We are now focused on integrating Cohere’s USM with partners to make these benefits available to operators globally.”

This is one of many initiatives to boost 5G capacity Vodafone is showing on its stand at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2024, which starts on 26 February. Recently, Vodafone successfully tested mobile spectrum in the future upper 6GHz frequency band, marking a major development in supporting the insatiable demand for faster and more responsive digital connections.