Sunday, 05 July 2020

The GSMA joins the O-RAN Alliance

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Monday 01 June 20

Join work on open RAN technology is essential for meeting the needs of enterprises and advancing 5G, claimed the GSMA

The growing Open RAN technology got another boost on Thursday, when the GSMA agreed to collaborate with the O-RAN Alliance to drive the development and adoption of the technology.   “As the demand for data and vastly expanded mobile communications grow in the 5G era…

The growing Open RAN technology got another boost on Thursday, when the GSMA agreed to collaborate with the O-RAN Alliance to drive the development and adoption of the technology.
 
“As the demand for data and vastly expanded mobile communications grow in the 5G era, a global, cross-border approach is needed to rethink the RAN,” explained Andre Fuetsch, chairman of the O-RAN Alliance and also CTO of AT&T.
 
When it comes to next-generation mobile technology, O-RAN will be particularly important for the enterprise space, with the GSMA forecasting the value of this sector alone at $700 billion.
 
The growth of the open networking ecosystem will be essential to meeting enterprise coverage and services needs in the 5G era," said Alex Sinclair, the GSMA’s CTO.
 
With this partnership the GSMA joins the Telecom Infra Project, who signed a similar agreement with the O-RAN Alliance back in February.
 
Open RAN groups have seen quite a lot of movement recently; three weeks ago, the Open RAN Policy Coalition was formed, an organisation that targets policymakers to help the burgeoning technology gain some traction. The organisation notably lacked any major Chinese vendors, with many positioning it as part of the US government’s drive to find alternatives to Huawei’s 5G technology.
 
Since the start of the year, the idea of carrier-neutral, software-based RAN has seemingly become much more feasible, with much of the movement presumably driven by the desire for a broader, more resilient supply chain, particularly in light of recent geopolitical developments. 
 
For the major vendors like Huawei, Nokia, and Ericsson, however, the technology is still viewed as inferior to their more bespoke products. However, the rapid growth of consortiums like the O-RAN alliance show that this technology is steadily picking up speed and could be developing into a real threat for these huge enterprises.
 
 
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