O-RAN outlines 20 new specifications since summer

News

Since June, five published specifications cover new areas, while the rest are updates to existing standards.

In a week when Vodafone UK has garnered much coverage for restating its plans to deploy Open RAN (instead of the Ericsson and/or Nokia like its rivals), the O-RAN Alliance has published a substantial blog outlining the 20 new specifications it has published since June.

The Alliance says these technical specification efforts show the healthy momentum of “expanding RAN standards with open interfaces and intelligent RAN functions”.

Johan Wibergh, CTO, Vodafone Group, commented about Vodafone UK's plans for Open RAN on LinkedIn, saying, "Great to see my colleagues in the UK planning to install OpenRAN on around 2600 sites from 2022. This will add momentum to the embryonic ecosystem and is the first step in a wider-European strategy to use OpenRAN in rural areas initially.

In addition to numerous trials, we also aim to open OpenRAN R&D labs within Europe for new suppliers to use. We are assessing the options, figuring out which markets will provide supportive investment conditions needed to speed up the development of this technology to take it to the next level".

It has also added representatives from KDDI, Rakuten Mobile and Vodafone to its board who will serve a two-year term.

Open to the public

Approved specifications are available to the general public so long as they agreem to the O-RAN Alliance Adopter License.

The blog says, “O-RAN specifications published in 2nd half of 2020 introduce the initial version of O2 interface general aspects and principles, and two sets of the HW reference design for the indoor picocells in 7-2 and 8.0 split, respectively.

“An initial end-to-end system testing framework and the Criteria and Guidelines for the Open Testing and Integration Centres (OTIC) as the global platform for testing and integration of O-RAN based network equipment are also delivered.”

The other 15 updates to O-RAN standards add new functions or refresh features according to the O-RAN Architecture.

Full details in the blog here.