Can OpenRAN Overcome Resistance to Disaggregation?

Feb. 16, 2022
The OpenRAN network architecture can enable multi-vendor supply chains for future 5G networks, but must overcome obstacles on the way. Olli Andersson, Benetel's senior VP for the Americas, discusses the architecture's climb into market relevance.

The OpenRAN network architecture holds a great deal of promise for the future of 5G wireless infrastructure. It's touted as a way to break the hold of closed, proprietary network-infrastructure providers and clear the way to a multi-vendor supply chain. Proponents of OpenRAN say that it will encourage more innovation in network configurations, provide network operators with more choices, and ultimately lower costs.

But proliferation of OpenRAN isn't without obstacles. For one thing, there still exists some confusion in the marketplace about the differentiation between so-called "virtual RAN" and "cloud RAN" terminologies, and even about the notion of open source itself. For another, some network operators will prefer to stick to a single provider for infrastructure equipment to, if for no other reason, give them one phone number to call for tech support. Going to an OpenRAN architecture is also going to create the need for system integrators, typically third parties who will have a lot of say over how the network is implemented. What about network security issues stemming from the use of open software interfaces?

Benetel is among the providers of OpenRAN-based radio-access units (RUs) that have pinned their hopes on the success of OpenRAN, much like Accelleran has on the software side of the equation. In the video offered here, Benetel's senior vice president for the Americas, Olli Andersson, will address these concerns and provide some perspective on how OpenRAN hopes to convince its doubters.