O-RAN refers to the version of Open RAN standardized by the O-RAN Alliance. Building upon the foundation set forth by 3GPP, O-RAN includes new functions and open, interoperable interfaces.
As we know this new approach to RAN architecture may provide some benefits related to lower deployment cost (COTS Servers) and increased supply chain diversity (more vendors and choice for operators) while increasing complexity and network integration costs.
Below the main changes in O-RAN architecture, if we compare : 3GPP with O-RAN Alliance and you can see in the picutre above main comparison between 3GPP based Architecture (Rel 15 CU-DU split) and O-RAN Architecture Lower Layer split (LLS) 7-2X.
- Introduction of new nodes : RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller) and SMO (Service Management & Orchestrator )
- Introduction of FrontHaul split
- Introduction of new interfaces
Below main interfaces and comparison between 3GPP and Oran :
What you should know is that 3GPP and O-RAN both share several key common technological features, allowing for the freedom of choice for vendor-specific implementations.