xRAN, Open vRAN, and OpenRAN: What’s the Difference?

14 April 2018

Virtualizing the RAN is getting a lot of attention from operators because it promises to lower operator capex and opex costs as well as make it possible for them to add new capabilities to the network more quickly.

It’s likely that all that interest is behind the creation of three different groups —the xRAN Forum, the Telecom Infra Project’s OpenRAN Group, and Cisco’s Open vRAN initiative. Although all these groups say they are working on the same thing, which is basically to make the RAN more open using standardized interfaces and white box network elements, on closer examination there are some differences.

According to John Baker, SVP of business development at Mavenir, which is a member of all three groups, there is no overlap between the groups because each one has a different focus.