The Open Networking Foundation (ONF) released its completed SD-RAN project to open source after years of development, giving a further boost to the global open RAN movement.

Release of the SD-RAN project is the culmination of work commenced in 2020 with operators including China Mobile, China Unicom, Deutsche Telekom and AT&T to build and trial O-RAN Alliance-compliant open-source components to free mobile players from vendor lock in.

SD-RAN uses a cloud-native near-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and an xApp development environment, along with related controllers covering distributed, remote and centralised units.

In October 2021, ONF and Deutsche Telekom commenced a field trial of an open RAN set-up using the foundation’s RIC software platform.

The trial integrated open RAN components from eight vendors with the ONF’s SD-RAN RIC and Aether 5G platform to provide live services over a fully disaggregated mobile network.