Several telecom operators today announced they will adopt the fronthaul specifications of the Open Radio Access Network Alliance (O-RAN).
NTT Docomo, AT&T, Bharti Airtel, China Mobile, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, KT, Orange, SK Telecom, SoftBank, Telefonica, TIM, Verizon will be deploying O-RAN-compliant products to avoid complexities.
Telecom equipment makers such as Cisco, Fujitsu HFR Networks, Intel, Keysight, Mavenir, NEC, Nokia, Pivotal Commware, Radisys, Samsung Electronics, SOLiD and VIAVI have started developing O-RAN-compliant products, and have either started or plan to conduct multi-vendor interoperability testing.
The operators plan to test or introduce O-RAN-compliant products in 5G networks from this year onwards.
The O-RAN fronthaul specification provides a foundation for interoperability between baseband units and radio units for RAN manufactured by partners. Product interoperability offers benefits including opportunities to use optimal commercial and technical baseband units and radio units.
The companies believe that a global eco-system around multi-vendor RAN using the O-RAN fronthaul specification will help to advance innovation in radio access networks for the 5G era.