OpenRAN IS AN ALTERNATIVE WAY OF BUILDING NETWORKS THAT PROMISES GREATER INTEROPERABILITY AND MORE COMPETITION
OpenRAN promises an alternative to the legacy in the radio access network (RAN), one of the costliest parts of the infrastructure. In a traditional RAN, hardware components and software code are tightly coupled, and interfaces do not support interoperability between different vendors. That means nearly all the equipment comes from only one, closed supplier. With the virtualization that OpenRAN brings, operators can run software-based network functions on standard (COTS) servers. Open interfaces allows a new freedom – the use of one supplier’s radios with another’s processors.
OpenRAN is an alternative way of building networks that promises greater interoperability and more competition. The real reason for the incumbents’ apathy is that OpenRAN would introduce competition and threaten their existing business, say OpenRAN companies such as Mavenir.
THE BENEFITS OF OpenRAN vRAN
COST SAVINGS. You can build a virtualized network, containerize it and each of the elements can be completely broken down. This modern network can support either tens of subscribers to millions of subscribers. It just depends on how many instances and substantiations of the VNFs can you run on a single platform.
MULTIPLE OPERATORS & NETWORK SHARING. OpenRAN vRAN can run multiple operators using multiple VNFs sitting side-by-side on the same platform to have segregated networks. The other benefit is network sharing in the future through software.
ELIMINATE VENDOR LOCK-IN. OpenRAN breaks open the interface between the remote radio head and the DU. With current legacy vendors, it’s a walled garden and proprietary. Through O-RAN, a fully open interface on Split 7.2 has been defined including all the OEM.
3rd PARTY TESTING BENEFITS. Radios with 3GPPP specs on one side and O-RAN specs on the other will work with different vendors’ baseband and because there is a defined specification with 3GPPP interfaces, the elements can be tested independently. It takes pressure off operators to test in their own labs. Radios can be purchased from any vendor and tested by independently by a 3rd party and be assured that it works. Soon radios will be produced at low cost on the basis that any operator can buy them and not get locked into a specific system integrator.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN OpenRAN, O-RAN and vRAN?
Disaggregated RAN functionality built using open interface specifications between elements. Can be implemented in vendor-neutral hardware and software-defined technology based on open interfaces and community-developed standards.
Refers to the O-RAN Alliance or designated specification. O-RAN Alliance is a specification group defining next generation RAN infrastructures, empowered by principles of intelligence and openness.
An implementation of the RAN in a more open and flexible architecture which virtualizes network functions in software platforms based on general purpose processors.
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OpenRAN WHAT IT IS WHAT IT MEANS FOR RURAL OPERATORS
Learn about OpenRAN, the Capex/Opex savings, and how it’s being deployed in different parts of the world, in an educational session specifically designed for Rural Operators.