What is Open RAN (oRAN)

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP Community)

The Telecom Infra Project(TIP) began as a community by many companies and organizations that provide Infrastructure solutions to enable global communication. Open RAN is a TIP community standard led by Vodafone and Intel that aims to deliver a standardized RAN solution by leveraging a hardware agnostic approach to accelerate research and commercialization in the RAN area. It offers RAN network solution architectures that are simple to integrate into operator networks and offer a variety of deployment possibilities. It offers solutions for several RAN generations, including 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G networks, which may be utilized separately or in combination.

TIP Members

Open RAN (oRAN):

  • Open RAN is an industry standard term that refers to an open Radio Access Network with open and interoperable interfaces that use virtualization, big data, and AI/ML technologies.
  • In the traditional approach to RAN networks, the hardware and software were proprietary solutions provided by a Telecom Equipment manufacturer, requiring an operator to purchase a solution from a single source, creating a dependability. To overcome such issues, Open RAN utilizes an approach in which open means that no proprietary solution for any of the hardware, software, API, interface, source code, and management tools is used.
  • Open RAN (oRAN) is a hardware agnostic solution in which any supplier’s hardware and software, API, source code, and so on may be utilised. This resulted in a transition from proprietary to commercial off the shelf (COTS) equipment.
  • Open RAN divides or splits the different RAN functions into multiple microservice (service level segregation in non-containerized solutions) level capabilities between real time and non-real time.
  • The Open RAN approach is primarily focused on innovating the control plane, while the data plane is predominantly comprised of conventional hardware. This also allows for the usage of cloud technologies sparingly but not exclusively.

Key Element of Open RAN:

  1. Cloudification/Cloud-Oriented: The primary focus of Open RAN is disaggregation of hardware and software and development of RAN application as cloud-native software using cloud architectures or based on general-purpose hardware’s.
  2. Automation with Intelligence: For effective life cycle management of network operations, make use of cloud-native concepts, automation and model-driven management, and orchestration platforms with AI and ML capabilities.
  3. Open interfaces: Along with 3GPP-specified interfaces, open internal interfaces between the various RAN segments are established by the O-RAN Alliance.

The goal of Open RAN is to increase intelligence and automation in radio access networks (using open management and orchestration systems, and interfaces) and cloudify RAN by separating or disaggregating hardware and software using open, interoperable interfaces. Diversity in the supply chain, flexibility in the solutions, and new capabilities that may spur more competition and innovation are among the some benefits of Cloud RAN architecture.

Open RAN Architecture:

A typical Open Radio access network architecture in 4G + 5G environment:

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