StockMarketWire.com - Vodafone said it would trial new technology in Europe that would increase the number of companies that could supply mobile network equipment to telecom operators.

The company said it had initiated the first European trials of OpenRAN in the UK and may extend it to more of its markets on the continent.

'The global supply of telecom network equipment has become concentrated in a small handful of companies over the past few years,' Vodafone said.

'More choice of suppliers will safeguard the delivery of services to all mobile customers, increase flexibility and innovation and, crucially, can help address some of the cost challenges that are holding back the delivery of internet services to rural communities and remote places across the world.'

Vodafone said it had also initiated trials of the technology to enable more consumers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Mozambique.

The trial sites across the three countries would provide 2G, 3G and 4G services, with 5G possible over OpenRAN in the future.

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