Verizon expanded its list of virtualised RAN (vRAN) vendors through a deployment with Ericsson as part of the operator’s transition to a cloud-native architecture.

Ericsson provided its 5G cloud RAN platform which includes virtualised central, distributed and radio units. The platform spans all of Verizon’s frequency bands across FDD and TDD.

The platform is compatible with Massive MIMO for C-Band and offers interconnection with equipment already deployed to enable spectrum sharing between LTE and NR carriers.

Intel and Red Hat provided processing and cloud-native orchestration functions.

Verizon aims to deploy 20,000 vRAN sites by 2025. Yesterday (8 December) its primary vendor Samsung announced more than 10,000 had been deployed, up from 8,000 in mid-September.

Bill Stone, VP of planning and technology for Verizon, previously told Mobile World Live vRAN is a key step in its migration to open RAN.

The addition of Ericsson could bolster pricing as the vendors compete for Verizon’s business.