The debate on the suitability of Open RAN for the 5G network is a recurring theme in the telecommunications sector. In the affirmative sense, Ronny Haraldsvik (SVP of Business Development at Cohere Technologies) has spoken, whose point of view we reflect in this article.
A Better Response To The Demands Of The Network
The opening of the RAN has already revealed its ability to achieve the main goals it intended to achieve. What is more, thanks to this technology, operators and suppliers have been able to carry out disaggregated solutions from various suppliers and diversify their supply chains.
Open RAN has also been instrumental in lowering costs. Geoff Hollingworth (CMO of Rakuten), whose savings have been audited by independent third parties, has spoken in this regard. However, what really reduces costs is not the technology itself, but what you do with it. In fact, it is the innovation that will allow us to recover the great investments we made in 5G.
Security, Flexibility And Accessibility: The Three Pillars Of The New Connections
The RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) is one of the most promising features of this new technology. Not in vain, it makes it possible for CSPs to virtualize both centralized and distributed RAN units in order to run cloud-native applications for control and management. The result of such interaction of the RIC software with the Radio Unit (RU) hardware is a notable increase in its efficiency and optimization.
What the RIC does is provide a platform where we can not only run third-party software but also add capabilities to the RAN. Similar to an App Store for radio networks, operators will have at their disposal applications from various providers with which they can monetize, optimize and automate the RAN.
The RIC works with two components intended to manage separate functions of the RAN:
Non-real-time (non-RT): Manages resources operating centrally in the operator’s network and offers a response time of one second or more.
- Near real-time (near RT): Provides ultra-fast response of up to 10 ms and can operate centrally or eccentrically.
- The implementation of the RIC is already a reality and the apps that are being tested give a good example of this. They boost spectrum performance, get automated RAM configuration management, and achieve ultra-precise positioning. And this is just the tip of the iceberg!
Open Ran As A Catalyst For 5G
As OpenRAN networks take hold across the industry, we will have the ability to bring about a truly incredible transformation in our hands. This is the logical consequence of opening up a portion of the network that has been closed for a long time. With it, operators can enrich the mobile network landscape with new providers and capabilities.
It is evident that the opening of the RAN is capable of transforming the network into a perfect cloud platform to carry out all kinds of software-based innovations. This, ultimately, can offer us a myriad of applications that both consumers and businesses can benefit from. Are you ready to take advantage of all its possibilities?