Reply to post: O-RAN is not a panacea...

NIST dreams of cellular networks free from 5G vendor lock in, supply chain pain

wavemobile

O-RAN is not a panacea...

For sure, not every O-RAN vendor is going to be welcome - you can imagine that the triopolistic state which has prevailed for many years will continue to do so (H will be replaced by someone else...). But there is a curious underlying situation with O-RAN in that it is a bandwagon that everyone is jumping on as it is a pseudo-open standard which anyone can create a product for. I imagine that the 3GPP working groups will feel a little insulted that the first standard that's publicly slated to solve all communications woes isn't something that they've toiled over. Having successfully integrated homebrew and commercial RAN with A/A-bis (GSM), Iu/IuH (UMTS), S1 (LTE) and now Nx (NR) which have used the (extremely well written) 3GPP standards, I am astounded at how much ground O-RAN is gaining.

If you have a site on a ship, an aeroplane, a truly rural location or, in fact any non-dark fibre connected site you can forget O-RAN. For stadiums, conference centres, dense urban then O-RAN has real potential value (although I would argue that a well coordinated low power S1/Nx connected LTE/NR site array could do a similar job). Whether the small O-RAN contenders get a chance to play in these environs remains to be seen however. For now, I am happy that I can plug our "nO-RAN" LTE radio into a Starlink terminal and pass traffic through it within 30 seconds and no-touch config.

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