Five Takeaways From the FCC’s OpenRAN Event

15 September 2020

The FCC hosted a full day of discussions about OpenRAN technology Monday featuring many of the top executives in the space, from Rakuten’s Tareq Amin to Sachin Katti, a leader in the O-RAN Alliance. Also speaking at the event were Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Robert Blair, director of policy and strategic planning for the Commerce Department, and all five of the FCC’s commissioners.

Although it initially may seem strange for the US telecom industry’s regulator to assemble that kind of menagerie, the reason is clear: Open RAN has become a diacatholicon, a cure-all, thanks in part to its ambiguity. Because it’s so new, open RAN can be everything to everyone, whether the goal involves securing Americans’ freedom or building a successful startup.

Mavenir’s John Baker used his appearance at the FCC’s event to reiterate his company’s desire for “real” OpenRAN and not a watered-down version that could exclude upstarts like Mavenir. “The devil is in the details,” he said.