The National Spectrum Consortium, with support from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), recently announced the release of a “Call for Whitepapers” to their membership requesting feedback and ideas from industry and academia that could help accelerate the development, manufacturing, and testing of 5G Open Radio Access Network (“Open RAN”) technologies in the United States. The central goal of this outreach is to help identify obstacles to emerging or existing companies in accelerating the commercialization of Open RAN in the United States.
The DoD has identified the development of open architecture and virtualization as one of its major lines of effort under its 5G Strategy Implementation Plan. RANs are traditionally vendor-locked, vertically integrated telecommunications architectures composed of base stations, radios, and antennas that enable wireless communications, such as 4G, 5G, and subsequent generations of communications technologies. By disaggregating RAN architectures – thus making them “Open” – more companies can pursue innovation on advanced 5G network architectures and related security.