Vodafone said on Monday it would work with Intel Corp and other silicon vendors on designing its own chip architecture to drive innovation and efficiency in nascent OpenRAN network technology.
The initiative will be based at Vodafone's digital innovation and R&D centre in Malaga, which opened on Monday.
Fifty people dedicated to OpenRAN will join 650 software engineers, architects and technicians in the Spanish city, where the British company is investing 225 million euros over five years.
OpenRAN will allow operators to mix and match suppliers in their radio networks, aiming to weaken the grip Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia have on the global telecom equipment market with their proprietary technologies.
It creates interoperability between the software and hardware components of the radio access network, widening the pool of suppliers and lowering the barrier of entry.