Creating the 5G O-RAN Ecosystem

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Thirteen companies, including NTT Docomo, NTT Data, Fujitsu, and NEC, have agreed to create the “5G O-RAN Ecosystem” with the objective of globally accelerating open radio access networks (O-RAN), and to help enable flexible network deployments to serve diverse company and mobile operator needs in the 5G era.

In basic terms, radio access networks (RAN) are an essential part of any mobile network which communicates via radio frequencies between a core network and devices such as mobile phones and computers. Open RAN (O-RAN) stands in contrast to the RAN operated by a handful of companies (Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson) in the sense that it doesn’t rely on the proprietary technology of a single firm but is instead a set of agreed standards, specifications, and interfaces to which multiple vendors may contribute and participate.

In the latest development, the thirteen companies, effectively led by NTT Docomo, which was a founding member of the O-Ran Alliance in February 2018, will start discussions on accelerating O-RAN introduction to mobile operators. Specifically, the target is to package best-of-breed RAN and to introduce, operate, and manage them based upon the demands from mobile operators considering the introduction of O-RAN.

The other nine firms that are among the grouping of thirteen are Dell Technologies Japan, Intel, Mavenir, Nvidia, Qualcomm Technologies, Red Hat, VMware, Wind River, and Xilinx.

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