Experts warn of open RAN fragmentation - Mobile World Live

Experts warn of open RAN fragmentation

15 SEP 2020

Mobile industry experts cautioned fragmentation and proprietary creep could hamper open RAN’s potential, and called for a single set of standards to avoid future interoperability issues as deployments grow.

During a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) forum, Reliance Jio president Mathew Oommen argued for adoption of a “common reference definition”, noting several different organisations including the Telecom Infra Project and Open RAN Alliance are working on the approach.

He stressed it is “very important to get to one standard that is clearly interoperable”.

Mavenir SVP of business development John Baker added “we’ve got to make sure that open specifications are full product specifications”, rather than simple frameworks which could allow proprietary technologies to “creep back into” networks.

IBM telecoms CTO Craig Farrell warned loose application of open RAN standards among vendors carries the risk of “making the interoperability problem become significant enough that we don’t get the widespread adoption that we absolutely need”.

Even with standards, AT&T assistant VP of member technical staff for access analytics and systems Laurie Bigler flagged integration as a key challenge as open RAN deployments grow. “You really don’t find the issues with the specs until you actually try to integrate the equipment of two different vendors together.”

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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