For the first time, it is testing the platform in Europe. Typically your mobile provider is bound to use patented cellular network equipment from Ericsson and Nokia likes, but there may soon be a more common system that might support your bank account.

Vodafone conducted the first European (specifically UK) trials of OpenRAN, an open access radio system co-developed by Intel that harmonizes hardware and software in cellular networks. It doesn't sound exciting, but it potentially opens the door for high-cost cell networks— and that might, in fact, lower the calls and data rates.

To date, Vodafone has only deployed OpenRAN in Turkey, delivering 2 G and 4 G coverage. This is a significant development, and the business is not slowly moving. It is planning to roll out the free radio software on October 7th in 120 remote UK regions. It is also spreading in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Mozambique to more countries with courts.

It is not known whether or not carriers are using this to lower prices. Networks can either turn the costs into improvements or merely pad their profit margins. It, though, at least raises the possibility of lower prices and could help to cover tight budgets for carriers.

OpenRAN could also assist with perceived security issues. Whether or not there is any truth to reports that firms like Huawei could use hardware to track data, it would be safer for carriers to sidestep the problem — they would have to find other options.