6.5 reasons to pay attention to Open RAN Sponsored by WindRiver
The radio access network, or RAN , is a critical component of our daily lives, although most of us don’t give it much thought or even know what it is.
gettyBefore we get into those reasons, it’s worth taking a moment to introduce Open RAN for those who are unfamiliar with it. Open RAN allows for the disaggregation of the key pieces of the RAN. These pieces include the radio unit, the distributed unit and the centralized unit. Open RAN helps to “open” the protocols and interfaces between the radios, the compute platform, the software infrastructure and the applications. Breaking these components apart gives telecommunications companies many more choices about how they build their network and with whom.
Now, why you should care:Number 1: Open RAN opens a new world on the far edge of the network for communications service providers (CSPs) – and that’s not hyperbole. 5G is heavily focused on low-latency, high-bandwidth, high-availability use cases, and you simply can’t get to the new world with old world thinking. New consumer and enterprise use cases require a much more flexible model than can be supported on today’s equipment. Open RAN provides that flexibility. More on that in a moment.
Number 2: 5G will need many more cell sites than the preceding technology due to its relatively short range, and those sites are coming online quickly. Arecent report from CTIAfound that 67,871 new cell sites were added between 2018 and 2020, which is more than the preceding seven years combined, and there are no signs of slowing down. Considering that many of these sites will be very small, CSPs are focused on getting the most from these sites with the smallest footprint possible, as the cost of every additional resource required will be multiplied across all of the sites. Open RAN provides the ability to select the component pieces that provide the greatest performance per watt, ensuring compute power is being used at its greatest efficiency to provide the needed coverage – and keeping costs for CSPs, and their subscribers, under control. headtopics.com
Number 3: Open RAN gives the ability to address demand more efficiently. By virtualizing the RAN you can bring up infrastructure, applications and services as they are needed. Once the physical hardware is in place, you can provision the software infrastructure and allocate resources to the services needed in that area. This capability is coming into play as CSPs provide 5G coverage for sporting venues, for example. Open RAN provides a flexible framework to enable adding coverage quickly, then scaling back when not needed. In the past, any area would need to be over-provisioned to ensure coverage, even though most of the time the equipment would be sitting idle.Read more: Forbes »
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