5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Another O-RAN Takes-off!

Now it is Vodafone’s turn up its first O-RAN site!

OpenRan (O-RAN) is a new way to design, built, deliver, and operate LTE infrastructure networks.  Today the LTE infrastructures installed that we are all using, regardless of the service provider, are made of standard base main components, and most often service providers will side with one or perhaps two radio suppliers. However, some service providers elected to build their LTE network by using Vendor-A EPC (Evolved Packet Core) {the main brain managing connections}, Vendor-B RAN (Radio Access Network) [the radio units on the tower] and their infrastructure deliver the same services. 

O-RAN allows service providers and private LTE operators to widen vendor possibilities in the RAN space.  O-RAN opens the door for vendors of all sizes to specialize and offer only parts of the RAN.  Hence, operators can “assemble” a fit-for-purpose RAN made of multiple bits supplied by various vendors. Consequently, O-RAN represents a possible significant landscape change for big players like Ericsson, Nokia, Samsung, Huawei, ZTE, and others. At the same time, O-RAN creates a substantial opportunity for the second tier of RAN manufacturers and opens the door to a plethora of new companies in what was a very closed big-company club.

From a manufacturer’s perspective, LTE was exciting as it created the opportunity to offer parts of the infrastructure without having to manufacturer all the necessary parts.  One could focus on the RAN as an example and be very good at it.  Now with O-RAN, a manufacturer can decide to concentrate only on one sub-system of the RAN and now faces new competitors.

From a consumer perspective, it will translate in lower prices, more features, and likely new service providers entering the market with lower infrastructure costs.  Add to this innovation in Analytics, Artificial Intelligence, and Edge computing, and you have a fascinating time ahead for consumers, enterprise, industry, and government.

We are living in exciting times!

What are your thoughts?

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Related Links

Vodafone announcement

O-RAN Alliance

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