The operator has officially launched its own Open RAN network.
The operator first launched its 5G network to support home broadband solutions last year. Now the network will be opened up to mobile customers. 1&1 previously operated as a virtual mobile operator (MVNO) but had been working towards becoming a fully-fledged operator in recent years.
1&1 claims it is the first operator in Europe to use entirely Open RAN technology for its network. This means that instead of relying on a single vendor to supply equipment, 1&1 can secure hardware components from various providers. 1&1 says that it already uses products from over 80 different companies.
1&1 will continue to rely on roaming agreements with incumbent operators to connect customers in areas that its own infrastructure has not yet reached. 1&1 says that customers will initially roam on Telefonica’s network, but this will switch “without interruptions” to Vodafone’s network in 2024 when the company’s new agreement with Vodafone kicks in.