Open RAN or ORAN is a game-changing Radio Access Network (RAN) evolution combining RAN functionality with cloud-native design, scale and automation.
O-RAN (Open RAN) is an enabling aspect of next-generation mobile networks based on the specifications of the “Open RAN Alliance”, which includes the main global operators and vendors. O-RAN’s goal is to break the dependence of operators on big players, removing the vendor “lock-in” in order to create programmable networks with low implementation costs and disaggregated hardware and software components.
The implementation of the Open RAN approach will create a new business model in which RAN Vendors, IT Vendors, Carriers and System Integrators will work together to expand the potential of new applications in different types of markets – including those other than traditional Telco (i.e., TowerCo, Neutral Host Operators, Enterprise Market, Satellite, etc.).
This will enable the era of a new RAN-as-a-Service (RANaaS) business model. Through “near-Edge” and “far-Edge” component control, done through near-RT RIC and non-RT RIC, it is possible to provide new 5G services based on eMBB, uRLLC, mMTC for Telco and Large Enterprises.
The transition from Traditional RAN to Open RAN will bring with it a revolutionary approach, in order to build vertical 5G use cases for B2B and B2B2C markets. Whereas in the traditional approach the entire Radio Access Network chain is delivered by a single vendor with a proprietary interface (i.e., a vendor-dependent solution), in the «Open RAN approach» all the modules can be delivered by multiple Open RAN vendors with open interfaces that allow vendor swaps.
Open RAN will introduce new benefits to Mobile Networks, including more market competition and consumer choice, lower equipment costs, and improved network performance. Each software vendor can also work on the hardware, since there is an open interface between radio and software.
ORAN promotes intelligence using automation and orchestration, which itself is based on open-source projects and extended Ecosystem between Telco, Enterprises and third parties, to build Future Networks. Here below the ey elements of Open RAN.
Disaggregation of HW/SW
Near-Edge & Far-Edge components
Network automation & orchestration functions
Platforms for RAN management
New AI/ML applications (xApps/rApps)
RAN Interfaces openness
Radio element split
Multi-vendor component interoperability
New internal interfaces
The disaggregation and softwarization of the Telco Network technology is a paradigm shift that requires a cultural, methodological and technological transformation, particularly at the Access Layer, where little has been done so far.
Thanks to a wealth of Telco expertise and knowledge in traditional network technologies and a deep understanding of the impact of new technology integration into existing networks, we are the main partner for Industry Forerunner Operators, and we deploy Disaggregation Technology for both Mobile and Fixed Networks, all the way through to production. We developed a dedicated approach, based on an Agile “methodological framework” that can be used as a guideline for customer adoption in the “RAN-to-ORAN” transition phase.
We have multi-vendor troubleshooting capabilities, gained from multiple projects in which we have supported and mediated between different vendors to solve problems such as those that inevitably arise after a disaggregated deployment. We have extensive interoperability test experience (regression testing, new feature testing) and extensive CI/CD experience in softwarized networks and infrastructures.
Supporting our Clients in turning innovation into real-life is in Reply’s DNA. We help our Clients understand, design and deploy innovative solutions while simultaneously building the internal skills and capabilities required for an internally sustainable journey.