Understanding OpenRAN & 5G | Mavenir

Understanding OpenRAN & 5G

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.

 

Open RAN Commercial Deployments

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 3GPP 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 3GPP 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.

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