Telefónica and partners pursue development of 4G/5G Open RAN technology

Telefónica has announced an agreement to develop 4G and 5G Open RAN technology with partner companies Altiostar, Gigatera Communications, Intel, Supermicro and Xilinx. The Spain based pan European network operator also said it intends to launch vendor-neutral 4G and 5G Open RAN trials in UK, Germany, Spain and Brazil this year.

Telefonica said this latest collaboration comprises the necessary design and developments, integration efforts, operational procedures and testing activities required to deploy Open RAN in its networks.  The Spanish network operator says this is part of its continuing efforts to lead network transformation towards 5G and that the collaboration would progress the design, development, optimisation, testing and industrialisation of Open RAN technologies across its footprint this year.

The collaboration focuses on the distributed units (DUs) and remote radio units (RRUs).  The DUs implement part of the baseband radio functions using the FlexRAN software reference platform and servers based on the Intel Xeon processor. The RRUs connect through open interfaces, based on O-RAN Alliance’s fronthaul specification, and software that manages the connectivity in an open cloud RAN architecture.

Telefonica said DUs and RRUs will be designed with 5G-ready capabilities, meaning they can work in either 4G or 5G mode by means of a remote software upgrade. It will be testing the 4G and 5G hardware and software components in the lab and in the field this year, integrating an Open RAN model as part of its UNICA Next virtualization program.

Telefónica logo

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The premise is that Open RAN will be cheaper as it encourages more suppliers into the market, especially in terms of the baseband hardware where economies of scale from using standard IT can be deployed.

A cloudified open radio access architecture can also enable faster software innovation and advanced features like network automation, self-optimization of radio resources and coordination of radio access nodes.

The main goal of the trial is to define precisely the hardware and software components in 4G and 5G to guarantee seamless interoperability. This includes:
• Testing the complete solution in the lab and in the field,
• Integrating the Open RAN model as part of the end-to-end virtualisation program (UNICA Next),
• Maturing the operational model, and
• Demonstrating new services and automation capabilities as offered by the Open RAN model.

The DUs and RRUs are designed with 5G-ready capabilities and so can work in 4G or 5G mode by means of a remote software upgrade.

Illustration of OpenRAN:

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The OpenRAN trial also supports exposure to third-party, multi-access edge computing (MEC) applications through open Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), and integration with the virtualisation activities in the core and transport networks. Open interfaces also mean that operators can upgrade specific parts of the network without impacting others.

Telefónica describes this openness to third-party MEC applications as “the cornerstone” to bringing added-value to the customers by enabling a variety of rich 5G services, like virtual and augmented reality, online gaming, connected car, the industrial internet of things (IoT) and more.

Edge-computing applications running in the telco cloud can benefit from the strong capillarity of the access network, so services can be tailored instantly to match the users’ needs and the status of the live network.

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Quotes:

Enrique Blanco, Telefónica’s CTIO:  “Once again, Telefónica is leading the transformation towards having the best-in-class networks in our Operations with our customers as key pillars. Open RAN is a fundamental piece for that purpose while widening the ecosystem.”

“Telefónica is known for its leading-edge network and has been championing open vRAN implementations to bring greater network service agility and flexibility,” said Pierre Kahhale, Altiostar Vice President of Field Operations. “By bringing together the best-of-breed innovation, Telefonica is looking to achieve this vision into their network. We look forward to supporting this transformation of Telefonica’s network.”

Heavy Reading principal analyst Gabriel Brown: “Up to now, the open RAN action has been all about 4G. In 5G, the major integrated systems vendors [Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE] have been supplying their state-of-the-art systems to the market for about 18 months,” creating a big gap between what is available from them and what can be sourced from the open RAN community, says the analyst. “This move by Telefónica could help to stop that gap getting too much wider.”

“Gigatera Communications and Telefonica has been actively working to ensure state of the art technologies are being deployed.  We truly value our partnership as we engage and revolutionize the industry.”, Daniel Kim, President.

“Open RAN offers a way for service providers to enhance customer experiences and enable new revenue-generating applications,” said Dan Rodriguez, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Network Platforms Group.  “We are collaborating closely with Telefonica and the broader ecosystem, and also participating in initiatives like the O-RAN Alliance, to help accelerate innovation in the industry.”

“Supermicro is excited to partner with Telefónica, a premier telecommunications provider, to deliver server-class 5G solutions based on Open RAN architecture,”, Charles Liang, president and CEO of Supermicro. “Working closely with Telefónica on the deployment of 5G in the significant EMEA region, Supermicro’s history of rapid time-to-market for advanced, high-performance, resource-saving solutions is a key component for the successful implementation of next-generation applications, especially as x86 compute designs migrate to the telco market.”

“Xilinx is excited to collaborate with the disruptive mobile operator Telefónica as it leads the move to O-RAN” said Liam Madden, executive vice president and general manager, Wired and Wireless Group, Xilinx. “Our adaptable technology supports multiple standards, multiple bands and multiple sub-networks, providing Telefónica with a unique and flexible platform for radio, fronthaul, and acceleration for 4G and 5G networks.”

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References:

https://www.telefonica.com/en/web/press-office/-/telefonica-joins-forces-with-altiostar-gigatera-communications-intel-supermicro-and-xilinx-for-the-development-and-deployment-of-open-ran-in-4g-and-5g

https://www.mobileeurope.co.uk/press-wire/telefonica-partners-to-launch-4g-and-5g-open-ran-trials

https://www.totaltele.com/505252/Telefonica-rallies-a-posse-of-Open-RAN-vendors-to-take-on-5G

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2020/03/14/o-ran-alliance-telecom-infra-project-tip-ocp-telco-may-open-up-telecom-equipment-market-to-new-entrants/

https://telecominfraproject.com/openran/

https://www.lightreading.com/4g-3g-wifi/telefonica-takes-open-ran-into-5g-territory/d/d-id/758293?

O-RAN Alliance, Telecom Infra Project (TIP) & OCP Telco may open up telecom equipment market to new entrants

“There was more choice of network equipment suppliers 15 years ago than there is now and the industry is keen on expanding that vendor ecosystem,” Vodafone Group PLC’s Head of Network Strategy and Architecture, Santiago Tenorio, told Dow Jones Newswires.

For sure, the telecom industry would like to have more network equipment vendors to diversify supply chains, reducing risk and lowering costs.  Network operators are pushing for change in the telecom-equipment market. Two international alliances of tech and telecom companies, universities and research centers are trying to develop networks that source gear from multiple vendors, which could attract new players to the market.

“Everybody wants it to happen,” said Janardan Menon, technology analyst at brokerage Liberum Capital. Mr. Menon expects progress to be slow but steady, and cautioned that it could take years before these open-architecture networks become a reality.

The O-RAN Alliance–which counts U.S. cell carriers Verizon Communications Inc., AT&T Inc. and Sprint Corp. as well as China Mobile Ltd. and Japan’s SoftBank Corp. among its members–is creating an ecosystem of new products that will support multi-vendor, interoperable radio-access networks. Meanwhile, the Telecom Infra Project, whose members include Facebook Inc. and Vodafone among others, is working on similar projects. Tech giants such as Intel Corp., Qualcomm Inc. and South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. are backing both groups.

Nokia is also a member of both the O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project OpenRAN group. Ericsson has engaged with the O-RAN Alliance, which the Swedish company sees as aligning closer to its goals, but not with the Telecom Infra Project.

“Ericsson is actively contributing towards O-RAN specifications to make it a viable alternative in the future,” an Ericsson spokesperson said. Nokia and Huawei didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The O-RAN Alliance and the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) in February agreed to collaborate on 5G radio-access networks. They reached a liaison deal that allows for sharing information, referencing specifications and conducting joint testing.

Although some 4G projects using these open-architecture are already in operation, the technology isn’t yet ready to be deployed at scale. Facebook and Telefonica have launched a telecom-infrastructure company in Peru called Internet para Todos, which relies on so-called open radio-access network, or OpenRAN. Meanwhile, Vodafone is testing OpenRAN in rural parts of the U.K., following trials in South Africa and Turkey.

OpenRAN is ready to be deployed commercially in pockets of the network, but not at scale throughout a market yet,” Mr. Tenorio said. “None of the smaller providers which OpenRAN is bringing into the market are ready yet to compete at scale with the likes of Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei,” he added.

The development of open-architecture networks began before Huawei’s blacklisting problems. The Telecom Infra Project was launched four years ago, and the O-RAN Alliance was formed in 2018 through the combination of two projects with shared goals.

There is no major U.S. manufacturer of cellular equipment currently, even though the U.S. is the biggest market in the industry for telecom equipment. The rise of open-architecture networks could create opportunities for smaller companies like Parallel Wireless, Mavenir or Altiostar, all of them based in the U.S., to have a say in the future of telecom networks.

It is unlikely that these new entrants take revenue from Huawei, Ericsson or Nokia in the next few years, said Liberum’s Mr. Menon. However, as the market begins to perceive that there are alternatives to the trio, their valuations could be hit, Mr. Menon said.

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Telco is an important open hardware project within the Open Compute Project (OCP):

There is an industry desire to apply open hardware OCP model to the creation of open telecom optimized hardware.  The OCP Telco Project enlists participants from telecom companies and carriers as well as sub systems, software, board and semiconductor suppliers who are seeking to use data center infrastructure to deliver IT services.

As technologists across industries participate in this community, OCP is creating and refining more designs, making it possible for more companies to transition from their old,existing  proprietary solutions to Open Compute Project (OCP) solutions gear. and interoperable, multi-vendor supplier support.

The openEDGE Sub-Project is under the direction of the OCP Telco Project Group.

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References:

TIP OpenRAN and O-RAN Alliance liaison and collaboration for Open Radio Access Networks

https://www.o-ran.org/

https://telecominfraproject.com/

https://www.opencompute.org/projects/telco

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2020/02/12/nec-and-mavenir-collaborate-to-deliver-5g-open-vran-platform/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/04/03/o-ran-alliance-and-linux-foundation-form-o-ran-open-source-community-open-networking-assessment/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2019/09/18/ntt-docomo-achieves-multi-vendor-4g-5g-ran-using-o-ran-specifications/

https://techblog.comsoc.org/2020/02/05/u-s-government-tech-companies-to-create-software-standards-for-5g-telecommunications-networks/

TIP OpenRAN and O-RAN Alliance liaison and collaboration for Open Radio Access Networks

Overview:

The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenRAN project and the O-RAN Alliance today announced a liaison agreement to ensure their alignment in developing interoperable, disaggregated and  open Radio Access Network (RAN) solutions.

Since their inception, the overlapping efforts of the two consortiums led to a lot of questions about duplication of work, different specs and interface for the same functions as well as different IP licensing policies.  The two groups are calling this liaison arrangement as a “new level of collaboration” for open RAN, rather than a merger.  The press release stated:

With this liaison agreement O-RAN and TIP are now reaching a new level of collaboration for open RAN. The liaison allows for sharing information, referencing specifications and conducting joint testing and integration efforts.

The O-RAN Alliance was formed in February 2018 when the x-RAN Forum merged with the C-RAN Alliance.  The group is focused on the development of open, intelligent, virtualized and interoperable RAN specifications. The Alliance has already created 31 specifications, with 37 demonstrations of the technology at past MWC events, global plugfests, and more than 1 000 000 lines of code released in partnership with the Linux Foundation. Operators have begun to announce network implementations.

O-RAN Alliance’s mission and focus complements TIP’s mission of deploying end-to-end disaggregated telecom infrastructure in varying environments.

TIP said it’s seen a rapid increase in demand for advanced OpenRAN trials and deployments.

  • Following on the heels of its TIP Summit announcement in November 2019, Vodafone launched trials in Mozambique and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and is progressing with trials in the UK and Ireland.
  • In Indonesia, Indosat Ooredoo and Smartfren will conduct the first OpenRAN field trials in the APAC region. Smartfren has also conducted and completed the first OpenRAN lab trial in the region.
  • In Malaysia, Edotco, the tower arm of Axiata group, is collaborating with Celcom Axiata in conducting lab trials with the path to field trials. Following their announcement of TIP OpenRAN deployment in the UAE, Etisalat is starting trials of OpenRAN systems in other regions. In North America, Sprint completed its RFI evaluation and will begin trials of OpenRAN 5G NR technologies in its TIP Community Lab.

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Evenstar Program to feed into OpenRAN:

Vodafone, Deutsche Telekom, Mavenir, Parallel Wireless, MTI, AceAxis, Facebook Connectivity and additional partners have unveiled the Evenstar RRU (Remote Radio Units). The Evenstar program will focus on building general-purpose RAN reference designs for 4G/5G networks in the Open RAN ecosystem that are aligned with 3GPP and O-RAN specifications.

The Evenstar program will contribute to the OpenRAN ecosystem by focusing on building general-purpose RAN reference designs for 4G and 5G networks that are aligned with 3GPP and O-RAN specifications and will help accelerate the adoption of TIP OpenRAN Project Group Solutions.

By decoupling the RRU hardware, Central Unit (CU) and Distributed Unit (DU) software, mobile network operators will have the ability to select best-of-breed components and the flexibility to deploy solutions from an increasing number of technology partners, TIP said. The intention of the Evenstar program is to contribute the proposed solution into TIP’s OpenRAN Project Group to help accelerate adoption.

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Quotes:

“This new collaboration framework between O-RAN and TIP, two major initiatives in the area of open networking, will support our mission to re-shape the RAN industry towards open and intelligent mobile network infrastructure,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, COO of the O-RAN Alliance and SVP Strategy & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom.

“Alignment on O-RAN interoperability efforts will help the industry to speed up the delivery of commercial open RAN solutions. The establishment of the first joint O-RAN Open Test and Integration Center (OTIC) with the TIP Community Lab in Berlin is a concrete step to facilitate this multi-community approach.”

“TIP’s OpenRAN solutions are an important element of our work to accelerate innovation across all elements of the network including Access, Transport, Core & Services. Across the TIP community, we are seeing increasing demand and have achieved meaningful progress with OpenRAN deployments around the world,” said Attilio Zani, Executive Director, Telecom Infra Project.

“With this collaboration framework in place, TIP and O-RAN will work together to develop interoperable 5G RAN solutions. One of our first outputs will be the release of the OpenRAN 5GNR NR Base Station Platform requirements document with normative references to the O-RAN specifications.”

“Our hope, longer term, is that this forms the ability to accelerate the solutions that are in the marketplace and drives greater adoption of Open RAN technologies across the world,” Zani added.

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About O-RAN Alliance:

O-RAN Alliance is a world-wide community of more than 160 mobile operators, vendors, and research & academic institutions operating in the Radio Access Network (RAN) industry. As the RAN is an essential part of any mobile network, O-RAN Alliance’s mission is to re-shape the industry towards more intelligent, open, virtualized and fully interoperable mobile networks. The new O-RAN standards will enable a more competitive and vibrant RAN supplier ecosystem with faster innovation to improve user experience. O-RAN-compliant mobile networks will at the same time improve the efficiency of RAN deployments as well as operations by the mobile operators. To achieve this, O-RAN Alliance publishes new RAN specifications, releases open software for the RAN, and supports its members in integration and testing of their implementations.

For a short video describing O-RAN’s progress, see www.o-ran.org/videos

For more information please visit www.o-ran.org

About Telecom Infra Project:

TIP is a collaborative telecom community that is evolving the infrastructure that underpins global connectivity. TIP’s mission is to accelerate the pace of innovation in next generation telecom networks, through the design, build, test and deployment of standards-based, open and disaggregated end-to-end solutions. Over the past four years, TIP has driven substantial innovation across all elements of the network including Access, Transport, Core & Services, while spanning urban through to rural market use cases. To date, it has 13 Community Labs which test, validate and integrate solutions, embarked on field trials in Africa, Latin America, Middle East and Europe. The recently launched TIP Exchange hosts 45 products from 28 member companies.

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Vodafone Moves to O-RAN:

One of those early-adopter operators of the O-RAN Alliance specs is Vodafone. In November 2019, Vodafone’s head of network strategy and architecture Santiago Tenorio announced at the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) Summit in Amsterdam that Vodafone would issue a request for quotes (RFQ) for open RAN technology for its entire European footprint.

“That’s significantly more than 100,000 sites, and all the technologies are to tender — 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G,” said Tenorio. “We’ve invited the incumbent suppliers in Europe of course, but we’ve also invited the open RAN suppliers.” He didn’t sound too optimistic about the incumbent suppliers. Apparently, they hadn’t even responded to a Vodafone request for information about open 5G new radio equipment.

Mostafa Essa, an AI and data analytics distinguished engineer with Vodafone, told FierceWireless: “If you use a specific vendor for the RAN and ask him to carry some new features for something you are needing that is impacting your customers, they have to go back to their R&D and build up features,” said Essa. “Then we’ll test and give feedback. Right now, by using the open RAN concept, you can build up whatever you want whenever you want. It’s not connected to vendors’ roadmaps,” he added.

Vodafone has been conducting field trials in some of its markets in Europe, including Spain, Italy and in a rural area north of London. Vodafone used Parallel Wireless for its first open RAN tests, which it conducted in Turkey and Africa.

Essa continued: “We have a lot of instability, which is to be expected in trials. Right now, we are in the building phase. When you roll out this technology, sometimes you can get a lot of dropped calls and so on. But it’s the same as working with the vendors…..who are building systems with their own closed-source software.”

References:

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20200225005180/en/O-RAN-Alliance-Telecom-Infra-Project-TIP-Reach

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180227005673/en/xRAN-Forum-Merges-C-RAN-Alliance-Form-ORAN

https://www.fiercewireless.com/operators/vodafone-leads-early-adopter-phase-o-ran

https://www.lightreading.com/4g-3g-wifi/mavenir-highlights-role-in-tips-evenstar-program/d/d-id/757735

https://www.fiercewireless.com/wireless/tip-o-ran-alliance-reach-liaison-agreement

 

NTT DoCoMo achieves multi-vendor 4G/5G RAN using O-RAN specifications

NTT DoCoMo has announced that it has  achieved multi-vendor interoperability across a variety of 4G and pre-standard 5G base station equipment from Fujitsu, NEC and Nokia.   Equipment from those vendors supports the Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) Alliance specifications, which are NOT standards as claimed in DoCoMo’s press release.  This is believed to be the world’s first realization of this level of multi-vendor interoperability in 4G and 5G base station equipment conforming to O-RAN specifications.

Up until now, cellular telcos (cellcos) have been locked into single cellular base station vendor contracts when deploying their radio access networks (RANs). Despite ITU-R standardization and 3GPP specifications, operators have not been able to use one vendor’s baseband gear with another’s radio equipment. Working across different 4G and 5G vendor systems has been similarly problematic if not impossible. Critics say this interoperability dilemma has led to “vendor lock-in” and strengthened a small number of giant RAN vendors, namely Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia.

The Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) Alliance wants to change that.  It is an operator led industry group working to create more open and intelligent next generation radio access networks, including 5G networks. The O-RAN specifications include RAN fronthaul and X2 profiles. There are 21 network operator members shown on the O-RAN Alliance member list, which includes NTT DoCoMo, AT&T, Verizon, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, China Mobile, China Telecom and other tier 1 operators.

RAN fronthaul describes the connectivity between remote base stations and centralized  cell units, enabling multiple remote units to be serviced by a single central baseband unit using open hardware specs. Ultimately,  radio heads and baseband units may be mixed and matched to create a fully multi-vendor RAN.

The ability to deploy and interconnect base station equipment from different vendors will make it possible to select the equipment most suitable for deployment in any given environment, such as base stations offering broad coverage in rural areas or small base stations that can be deployed in urban areas where space is limited. This will in turn allow more rapid and flexible expansion of 5G coverage.

DoCoMo will deploy the equipment in the pre-commercial 5G service it plans to launch on September 20, 2019 in Japan.  Concurrent with the pre-commercial launch of its 5G services, DoCoMo will expand 5G coverage by combining 5G networks with existing 4G networks using equipment from diverse vendors. The signal transmission specifications that will enable this follows lengthy discussions within the O-RAN Alliance, which DoCoMo is chairing.

4G and 5G multi-vendor interoperability:

Image of 4G and 5G multi-vendor interoperability

O-RAN fronthaul interface specifications provide a foundation for interoperability between centralized units and remote units of 5G remote-installed base stations manufactured by diverse partners. With remote-installed base stations, centralization of the baseband processing will bring the following benefits:

  • Improved communication quality through coordination of multiple remote units
  • Pooling of resources through the aggregation of hardware
  • Minimization of equipment footprint, leading to a reduction in space and costs.

In addition, through the provision of only radio processing, the remote unit can be further downsized, making it possible to install in a variety of locations that would previously have not been viable, such as small buildings or mountainous areas.

The O-RAN X2 profile specifications provide a foundation for interoperability between 4G base stations and 5G base stations manufactured by diverse partners in 5G non-standalone (5G NSA) networks by taking 3GPP X2 interface specifications and specifying details for their usage. 3GPP Release 15 based 5G NR-NSA networks connect devices using both 4G and 5G technologies. The connection of 4G and 5G base stations makes it possible to combine the high-speed, low-latency data communications delivered by 5G technology with the comprehensive coverage of 4G networks.

Going forward, DoCoMo will continue to refine and develop its cutting-edge base station communication technology, aiming to expand the provision of stable 5G coverage.

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Open Test and Integration Center (OTIC):

O-RAN has announced the Open Test and Integration Center (OTIC) – an initiative led by China Mobile and Reliance Jio along with participation from China Telecom, China Unicom, Intel, Radisys, Airspan, Baicells, CertusNet, Mavenir, Lenovo, Ruijie Network, Inspur, Samsung Electronics, Sylincom, WindRiver, ArrayComm, and Chengdu NTS.

The above named companies are collaborating on multi-vendor interoperability and validation activities for O-RAN compliant 5G access infrastructure. The initial focus is to ensure RAN components from multiple vendors support standard and open interfaces and can interoperate in accordance with O-RAN test specifications.

“China Mobile will initiate an OTIC in Beijing, China, which should provide the common platform for solutions to be operationally ready to enable end-to-end interoperability and deployment in scale; as well as to be hardened for reliability, performance, scalability, and security that operator networks require,” said Dr. Li Zhengmao, EVP of China Mobile.

“Jio is creating an OTIC to accelerate the telecom industry transformation by driving ready-for-commercialisation products and solutions,” said Mathew Oommen, President, Reliance Jio.

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Heavy Reading Comments:

“It is pretty significant for O-RAN because DoCoMo is a genuinely leading operator, a rainmaker in these things,” says Gabriel Brown, a principal analyst with Heavy Reading. “They have said this will conform with O-RAN specifications in what looks like the production 4G and 5G network.”

“One of the criticisms of the 5G RAN was about using the same 4G vendor, but the implication here is that you could do multivendor,” said Brown, pointing to NTT DoCoMo’s statements about the O-RAN Alliance’s X2 specifications. “What they don’t appear to be saying is that they have different baseband vendors for 4G and 5G, but they are saying they can do it. There is no question at all this is a big statement about O-RAN.”

NTT DoCoMo’s update is not a complete surprise, he says, because the operator had already been in trials with Fujitsu, NEC and Nokia. Today’s move aligns that model with the O-RAN specifications at an important moment. “Whatever they are doing has to be rock solid because the Rugby World Cup is coming in a couple of weeks,” says Brown. “That is a warm-up for the 2020 Olympics in terms of international attention on Japanese networks and all operators will be launching a limited 5G service.”

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Telco Testimonials and Deployment Plans for O-RAN:

“ The O-RAN Alliance was created to accelerate the delivery of products that support a common, open architecture and standardized interfaces that we, as operators, view as the foundation of our next-generation wireless infrastructure, while ensuring a broad community of suppliers driven by innovation and open market competition. ” — Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Research and Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom “ Our industry is approaching an inflection point, where increasing infrastructure virtualization will combine with embedded intelligence to deliver more agile services and advanced capabilities to our customers. The O-RAN Alliance is at the forefront of defining the next generation RAN architecture for this transformation. ” — Andre Fuetsch, CTO and President AT&T Labs.

AT&T is a key proponent of O-RAN adoption.  An AT&T employee, who presented on O-RAN at ONF Connect 2019, said the company is seriously evaluating adopting the Alliance’s specifications for 5G deployments sometime in 2020.  AT&T has said that it foresees that it can bring the “whitebox” environment to the RAN by adopting open hardware specifications.

 

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References:

https://www.nttdocomo.co.jp/english/info/media_center/pr/2019/0918_00.html

https://www.o-ran.org/membership

https://www.o-ran.org/specifications

https://www.lightreading.com/mobile/5g/japans-ntt-docomo-goes-for-gold-wth-multivendor-5g-plans/d/d-id/754206

http://the-mobile-network.com/2019/09/o-ran-scores-twice-as-ntt-docomo-reveals-commercial-multi-vendor-deployment/

http://the-mobile-network.com/2019/03/taking-the-open-ran-commercial/

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