Another Open RAN Consortium: 5G Open RAN Ecosystem led by NTT Docomo

Japan wireless network operator NTT Docomo has partnered with 12 companies to create the ‘5G Open RAN Ecosystem.’ The companies are: Dell Technologies Japan, Fujitsu, Intel, Mavenir, NEC, NTT Data, Nvidia, Qualcomm Technologies, Red Hat, VMware, Wind River and Xilinx.

Their plan is to accelerate open radio access networks (Open RAN) and help enable global network deployment to serve diverse company and operator needs in the 5G era.

The O-RAN Alliance, which NTT Docomo has helped lead since its launch, has developed specifications and promoted products that allow operators to combine disaggregated base station equipment. Docomo has been actively developing the products for its own 4G/5G network in Japan.

Docomo will start talks with the 12 companies on accelerating open RAN introduction to operators.

Specifically, NTT DOCOMO’s target is to package best-of-breed RAN and to introduce, operate and manage them based on demands from operators considering open RAN introduction. By leveraging its years of activities in driving open network and know-how (which realized the world’s first open RAN for 5G using O-RAN), NTT DOCOMO is committed to maximize companies’ strengths in furtherance of the 5G Open RAN Ecosystem, and providing high-quality and flexible networks.

5G Open RAN Ecosystem:

open ran viavi

Image courtesy of Viavi Solutions

………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Additionally, NTT DOCOMO will develop vRAN (virtualized RAN) with higher flexibility and scalability to further drive open RAN targeting commercialization in 2022. As COTS (Commercial Off-The-Shelf) servers can be used and dedicated equipment are not required for vRAN, it is possible to realize flexible and cost efficient networks. As of today, NTT DOCOMO will start discussion towards verification of vRAN, including performance assessments. As for the vRAN verification environment that will be constructed, opportunities for remote usage will be made available for operators themselves to freely conduct tests.

NTT DOCOMO says it will continue to cooperate with various industry partners towards accelerating wide adoption of open network, especially O-RAN and vRAN, which can cater for diversifying needs with flexibility and agility.

Comment & Analysis::

As with the  two other Open RAN alliances (TIP Open RAN and O-RAN), the new 5G Open RAN Ecosystem does NOT have a formal liaison agreement with either 3GPP or ITU-R WP 5D (4G-LTE and IMT 2020 standards).  Yet they are all trying to implement disaggregated network elements/equipment for 4G and 5G.

Last month legacy mobile operators Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone Group established a collaboration or Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering the rollout and development of open RAN technology, in a bid to ensure the continent keeps up with early pacesetters, namely Rakuten Mobile and NTT Docomo in Japan.   

Today, Telecom Italia (TIM) said it has joined that initiative to support the development and implementation of  Open RAN as the technology of choice for future mobile networks across Europe.  TIM said it was committed to the development of innovative mobile network systems that used open virtualized architecture to facilitate increasingly agile, flexible, secure and functional 5G services.

However, there are no standards or 3GPPP specifications on Open RAN. Therefore, one must question if there will be different versions coming out of each consortium?  Will the virtualized Open RAN architecture be implemented consistently?  Will the 4G/5G endpoints be affected by different Open RAN implementations?

What is Open RAN is a good tutorial on this increasingly important subject.

References:

https://mavenir.com/press-releases/docomo-creates-5g-open-ran-ecosystem-to-globally-accelerate-open-radio-access-networks-ran-and-help-enable-flexible-network-deployment-to-serve-diverse-company-and-operator-needs-in-the-5g-era/

https://www.telecomtv.com/content/open-ran/ntt-docomo-creates-5g-open-ran-ecosystem-to-globally-accelerate-open-radio-access-networks-40775/

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

NTT DOCOMO to Establish a 5G Consortium in Thailand

NTT Docomo and an international group of several other companies have recently established a consortium to provide 5G services, first in Thailand and later in other Asia Pacific countries with the possible inclusion of additional partners. The initial members of the 5G Global Enterprise solution Consortium (5GEC) will be Activio, AGC, Advanced Wireless Network, Exeo Asia, Fujitsu, Loxley Public Company, Mobile Innovation, NEC Corp, NEC Networks & System Integration, NTT Communications, NTT Data Institute of Management Consulting, NTT Docomo, and NTT Ltd.

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2021/0203_00.html

 


 

One thought on “Another Open RAN Consortium: 5G Open RAN Ecosystem led by NTT Docomo

  1. Iain Morris of Light Reading:

    The danger of open RAN is that it substitutes a series of dependencies for reliance on a couple of giant kit vendors. So far, there seem to be limited options for each disaggregated element – Dell, HPE and Supermicro on the server side, for instance, or Altiostar, Mavenir and Parallel Wireless in software. The smallest companies lack the financial strength of Ericsson and Nokia. And in the absence of Arm-based alternatives, Intel rules over baseband. A vulnerability in any part of the chain could bring the whole system crashing down.

    https://www.lightreading.com/open-ran/britains-got-open-ran-talent-hopes-clueless-govt/a/d-id/770638?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*

 
 

 

Solve : *
16 ⁄ 2 =