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Open RAN Policy Coalition Debuts

May 11, 2020

Thirty-one global technology companies today launched the Open RAN Policy Coalition to promote policies that will advance the adoption of open and interoperable solutions in the Radio Access Network (RAN) as a means to create innovation, spur competition and expand the supply chain for advanced wireless technologies including 5G.

"As evidenced by the current global pandemic, vendor choice and flexibility in next-generation network deployments are necessary from a security and performance standpoint," said Diane Rinaldo, Executive Director, Open RAN Policy Coalition. "By promoting policies that standardize and develop open interfaces, we can ensure interoperability and security across different players and potentially lower the barrier to entry for new innovators."

In past generations of mobile networks, the networks were deployed using fully integrated cell sites, where the radios, hardware and software were provided by a single manufacturer as a closed proprietary solution. Today, the industry is working towards standards and technical specifications that define open interfaces between the radios, hardware and software so that networks can be deployed using more than one vendor.

Multi-vendor deployments enable a more competitive marketplace and give network operators greater ability to manage their networks and flexibility to draw on the innovations of multiple suppliers to upgrade their infrastructure with the latest technology.

Using multiple interoperable suppliers also allows operators to potentially move more quickly to replace or address vulnerable network equipment when reacting to threats, and shift network capacity on demand.

The coalition believes that the U.S. Federal Government has an important role to play in facilitating and fostering an open, diverse and secure supply chain for advanced wireless technologies, including 5G, such as by funding research and development, and testing open and interoperable networks and solutions, and incentivizing supply chain diversity.

Open RAN Policy Coalition founding members include Airspan, Altiostar, AWS, AT&T, Cisco, CommScope, Dell, DISH Network, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google, IBM, Intel, Juniper Networks, Mavenir, Microsoft, NEC Corporation, NewEdge Signal Solutions, NTT, Oracle, Parallel Wireless, Qualcomm, Rakuten, Samsung Electronics America, Telefónica, US Ignite, Verizon, VMWare, Vodafone, World Wide Technology, and XCOM-Labs.

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