What is Open RAN and why it is important for Telecom Operators?
July | 2021Introduction
Open RAN or ORAN is a hot topic of discussion among telecom companies today. Let us see why ORAN has become so important and why everyone is looking to adopt it.
One of the main reasons why Telco’s are in a race to adopt ORAN is because of the way it has simplified the RAN architecture and allowed operator to use multivendor systems on same network without dependency on independent OEMs. The Openness of ORAN applies both to software and hardware.
To understand Open RAN, first we should have a basic level of understanding and how a Telco network system works. We will also see how these networks have evolved through the various RAN generations.
The Radio access network (RAN) is a link that connects Core Network and UE (User Equipment). It is the visible piece of Wireless Network System, it includes Antenna, cables, Base stations that we see on every Telecom tower.
When a user dials a number to connect with another user or connects to a remote server for data like when you do to access a website or YouTube, our mobile device sends request to RAN Base station
Whenever a user wants to call another user, it dials his number then mobile transmits a frequency signal to nearby tower’s antenna which receives radio signal and process the call flow to the end system then antenna transmit to second user it receive call and reply to user 1.
As would be clear from this that RAN is one of the important elements in Telecommunication system. It is the major element of communication system when digitization, virtualization is required.
Before the ORAN technology, Telco operator has to use equipment of same OEM for every point of RAN System implementation. The RAN equipment market was lead by some dominant key manufacturers and each of them used their proprietary technology.
For Telco’s it meant that when they chose to use equipment of a particular manufacturer, they had to use devices and software of that manufacture throughout their network. In the highly competitive telecom industry this meant loss of revenue if a competitor was able to offer better facilities using technology and devices of a different manufacturer. Such dependency also affected the efficiency and effectiveness of services delivered by the Telco operators if their manufacturer was not fast enough in upgrading its technology.
ORAN changes all that. Open RAN Solution has an ‘Open Gate’, Telecom Multivendor RAN systems that allows Telcos the flexibility in selection and implementation of hardware, software from multiple manufacturers in their networks thereby ending the dependency and limitations that had faced till now.
It is therefore no surprise that Telco Operators are now looking to transition from conventional RAN architecture to a virtual RAN (vRAN) architecture for 5G as these Open RAN Standards can provide significant reduction in cost in 5G RAN Deployment.
Open RAN is a concept which is based on interoperability of elements and standardization of RAN. Systems In the OPEN RAN Standards, RAN is divided into three main units viz. Radio Unit (RU), Distributed Unit (DU)and Centralized Unit (CU). Here is a schematic representation of ORAN
The race for 5G deployment is on. Japan has already introduced 5G successfully within a short span of about 18 months. Introduction of ORAN has been an important factor allowing operators to deploy and deliver 5G technology quickly, easily and effectively. To learn more about technologies in Telecom and how 5G works visit at Uniinfo Telecom Services Ltd, we are committed to keeping you update with emerging technologies, trends in telecom and IT. Visit https://uni-info.co.in to take a look at the wide array of courses and articles.