LIVE FROM TIP FYUZ23, MADRID: A leading Rakuten Symphony executive argued the benefits of disaggregating infrastructure far outweigh the challenges such a move presents, noting operators have never had the kind of broad oversight of the entire network which open initiatives deliver.

Nastasi Karaiskos, MD of the company (pictured, far right), explained a principal challenge in disaggregation moves is the broad market it exposes operators to in terms of infrastructure vendors, system integrators and others involved in the supply chain.

Inevitably, Rakuten Symphony believes it is a challenge well worth taking on: “it’s a benefit in bringing in multiple partners” and vendors across services, “installations, software” and hardware, Karaiskos noted.

At heart, the shift from a hardware-based approach to infrastructure to a software-based method is more of a system management challenge than one involving the actual equipment itself, Karaiskos said.

He argued the benefits outweigh the challenge, because operators gain greater insight into metrics including total cost of ownership, while empowering them in terms of network management.

“We’ve been used to closed or black-box type services”, he noted, adding the ability to “take complete ownership and see the network from end-to-end and manage it” and the supply chain “brings huge benefits”.

Operator reality
Karaiskos’ views were broadly echoed by operators Orange and Dish Network.

Emmanuel Chautard, SVP of operations and network economics at Orange (pictured, third from right) explained while cost savings are important, of equal significance are a “time-to-market improvement” along with an overall reduction of workload.

For Dish Network, meanwhile, managing partnerships was cited among its biggest challenges in an ongoing greenfield mobile open RAN deployment.

Sidd Chenumolu, VP of technology and development (pictured, second from left), noted its approach has required it to get companies which are essentially competitors to work together to deliver the equipment and services the US operator needs to deploy its mobile network.