Wednesday, 10 November 2021 12:20

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, TIM and Vodafone set Open RAN technical priorities

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The five European operators have signed a memorandum of understanding MoU to set their technical priorities to "guide and foster the development of non-fragmented Open RAN ecosystem and vendors' roadmaps while ensuring Open RAN reaches parity with best-in-class traditional RAN solutions".

Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefónica, TIM and Vodafone want to ensure that Open RAN solutions are ready for large scale roll-out from 2022 onwards. They want the supply industry to focus primarily on Macro deployments.

It includes the main scenarios and radio configurations targeted for operators’ deployment, providing hardware and software requirements for each of the building blocks of a disaggregated RAN.

The overall system relies on open interfaces to allow multi-vendor deployment in a fully interoperable manner, and intelligent radio controllers and orchestration in a cloud-native environment to unleash the potential of a fully automated network. The overall objective is to promote a fast pace for the development of open, virtualised and programmable RAN solutions, and support a timely roll-out of open RAN networks in Europe.

For Australia we have two primary vendors, Nokia and Ericsson, supplying our three operators, both vendors are members of the O-RAN Alliance.

Nokia has been particularly active in the O-RAN Alliance, which was a concern when Nokia halted active participation in September due to their interpretation of US export regulations and Chinese vendor participation in the O-RAN Alliance. The O-RAN Alliance quickly addressed Nokia's concerns by changing O-RAN participation documents and procedures.

Potential challengers in this market, NEC and Samsung, are also very active members of the O-RAN Alliance. Australian operators have the potential to leverage the priorities set by the European operators to engage them and other vendors when expanding their 4 and 5G networks.

The detailed technical specifications in the MoU are available here on the O-RAN Alliance website.

An executive summary of the MoU is here.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 4 November 2021.

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