xRAN Forum releases open fronthaul spec in move to transform RAN industry

13 April 2018

In a move that will have some operators and smaller vendors rejoicing, the xRAN Forum announced the approval and public availability of the xRAN Fronthaul Specification Version 1.0, the first specification to come from the group since xRAN launched in October 2016. The spec is available for download on the forum’s website...

...Mavenir Business Development SVP John Baker characterized the xRAN Forum’s new spec as an area that’s been locked down by the biggest radio infrastructure players the past 10 to 15 years due to the Common Protocol Radio Interface (CPRI). He believes this is a point where the industry will look back years from now and say it changed the entire paradigm.

But he added it’s still not a slam dunk because operators need to incorporate it in their RFIs or RFPs to vendors. “Unless the operators apply it, it’s meaningless,” he said. But there are advantages for operators, such as keeping costs down, putting competition back into the network and differentiating themselves with a new set of partners.