Open RAN advocates rise to US 5G challenge - Mobile World Live

Open RAN advocates rise to US 5G challenge

11 FEB 2021

Ericsson and the Open RAN Policy Coalition identified testing as a key priority for a proposed US government programme aimed at speeding development of an open 5G ecosystem, but offered differing opinions on what the focus of that work should be.

The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) last month sought ideas on how to structure a potential 5G Challenge scheme, to create systems which could be used by the Department of Defence.

Ericsson put interoperability testing at the heart of its proposal, suggesting the US government host a 5G lab and run an “open ecosystem plugfest” to allow new and incumbent vendors to test components.

It said the results of this testing would help identify key hurdles to building an interconnected system and allow stakeholders to better understand the development status of different components.

The Open RAN Policy Coalition proposed testing should focus on advancing specific use cases and interfaces, arguing real-world trials and deployments had already demonstrated interoperability in the RAN.

It said the programme must not undermine work by 3GPP and O-RAN Alliance, and the government should be clear about which metrics will be used to evaluate system performance and decide on winners of the challenge.

The NTIA is yet to issue details of other proposals received by its deadline of 10 February.

Formed in May 2020, the Open RAN Policy Coalition includes AT&T, Google, Qualcomm, Samsung Electronics America, Verizon and UScellular among its members.

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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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