The Telecom Infrastructure Project (TIP) announces “significant update” to its OpenRAN Project Group.
In short, it’s combining the OpenRAN and OpenRAN 5G NR Project Groups and their activities into the OpenRAN Project Group, which has a new charter.
The new charter is designed to accelerate the development and deployment of OpenRAN solutions across 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G NR.
The new Project Group will be chaired by Vodafone and T-Mobile USA. Work streams will be co-led by BT, China Unicom, Ooredoo, Smartfren, TPG, Intel and Vodafone Idea.
Subgroups in action
To support Project Group’s activities, there are a number of new subgroups, created around operators’ priorities and market demand regarding individual components and integration (segments).
Each subgroup will have deliverables across the lifecycle, from concept to commercial deployment.
The subgroups will aggregate operators’ demand to develop common requirements, align vendors’ roadmaps, and lower integration cost and risks.
They will also strive to deliver easy to consume deployment and operational guidelines, and facilitate adoption and proliferation of OpenRAN solutions.
The subgroups will also allow the ecosystem to contribute to deliverables for the members to improve business cases for commercial deployments and ease adoption.
The component subgroups are intended to improve the performance of individual OpenRAN technology components, both software and hardware:
• Radio unit (RU) – defining the RU whitebox hardware platforms for 4G/5G
• Distributed Unit (DU) & Centralized Unit (CU) whitebox hardware for 4G/5G
• RAN Intelligence & Automation (RIA) – productise artificial intelligence and machine learning use cases for massive MIMO, such as for beam optimisation, radio resource management and self-organizing networks.
Segment subgroups will work on integrated RAN solutions for specific network use cases to improve deployment business cases:
• Outdoor – to address coverage and capacity requirements, performance and features for outdoor macro base stations
• Indoor – to define requirements, performance and features for indoor 5G NR small cells
Andy Dunkin, Senior Manager Mobile Access Centre of Excellence at Vodafone Group Networks and TIP Technical Committee delegate, said: “The streamlined OpenRAN structure is a significant opportunity to drive scale and support vendors to more quickly deliver products to the market.
"We look forward to the Project Group delivering harmonised requirements and proven commercial solutions to support our network deployment objectives.”
Gabriel Brown, Principal Analyst at Heavy Reading, added, “The new Project Group structure makes a lot of sense because it allows operators to think about OpenRAN strategies across the air interface technologies in use in their networks.
“It continues TIP’s unique approach to OpenRAN of starting with an idea and the underlying component technologies and then taking development all the way through to field trials and into commercial deployment.”