Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) is a concept that involves the interoperability of open hardware, software, and interfaces for cellular wireless networks.
“The Evolution of Open RAN” provides a comprehensive update on work from leading Open RAN standards bodies with an emphasis on application and microservices development in modern wireless cellular networks. The paper also examines how cloudification of Open RAN is providing opportunities in scalability of network functions for operators.
The paper examines how architectural considerations may include network disaggregation and functional splits, hybrid vs. hierarchical management plane (M-plane), RAN cloudification and virtualization, and services-based architecture for RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller) functions. Additionally, it examines how operators will have different Open RAN needs based on their own requirements for TCO savings, performance considerations, and brownfield vs greenfield deployments.
Some key topics surrounding evolving Open RAN standards in this 5G Americas report include:
- Open RAN and goals
- Principles of O-RAN, architectural considerations
- Operator trials and deployments
- Operational considerations and integration challenges
- Advantages and challenges with Open RAN architectures
- O-RAN use-case realization using AI/ML
- Interface service models for AI/ML-enabled xApp design in Near-RT RIC
- Advanced learning algorithms for xApp and rApp development in the non-RT RIC