Open RAN, also called “disaggregated RAN”, is a fairly generic concept based on :
- Open interfaces, enabling multi-vendor RAN – as the main principle
- Virtualized RAN software, running on generic IT, increasing the flexibility of network deployment, to make the most of open interfaces
The benefits of Open RAN for MNOs include a broader, best-of-breed ecosystem of hardware and software vendors which enables flexibility and increased competition, leading to lower total costs of ownership (TCO) and innovation in the telecommunications industry. For subscribers, Open RAN enables a consistent high quality user experience which exceeds performance expectations, enabling robust applications even during high peak hours and network overload.
Open RAN is currently supported by 2 main initiatives:
- The O-RAN Alliance, mainly focused on building 5G architecture, open interfaces and specifications, compliant with 3GPP standards
- TIP (Telecom Infra Project) mainly focused on integration and ecosystem development, with virtualisation of the RAN which can be applied to all 3GPP technologies (2G/3G/4G/5G). TIP will use O-RAN specifications.