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What is O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network)?

What is O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) :  It is said about O-RAN that it is not a technology, but we all know that the thing that makes the work easier and saves time is called a machine and the existence of any machine is impossible without technology. In this article, we will try to know that if there is no technology, then what is it? How does O-RAN play an important role for 5g network.

Some countries have already launched 5G and 6G networks and commercial is also being used but some countries who are dreaming of launching 5G, their 5G network will be based on O-RAN. O-RAN will play an important role in 5G networks in that it will enable operators to source their network components (hardware and software) from different companies.


What is O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network)?

O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) is a new paradigm where cellular radio networks consist of hardware as well as software components from different vendors operating on network interfaces that are truly 'open and interoperable'.

In simple words, it is a continuous change in the mobile network architecture, in which the network is built using sub-components from multiple vendors. In this, the hardware manufactured by different companies work together with the help of software.

Open-RAN refers to open protocols and interfaces between the various sub-components in the RAN, such as radio, hardware, and software.

O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) is a continuous change in mobile network architecture, in which networks are built using sub-components from multiple vendors. In this, the hardware manufactured by different companies work together with the help of software.

Key points regarding Open-RAN

➤ Open-RAN (O-RAN) is not a technology but a continuous change in mobile network architecture that allows networks to be established using sub-centres through different vendors.

➤ Unlike the single-vendor proprietary architecture for setting up mobile networks, O-RAN has an open, multi-vendor architecture.

➤ O-RAN uses software to operate hardware manufactured by different companies simultaneously.

➤ The basic concept of O-RAN is to open up the protocols and interfaces between the various substations (radio, hardware, and software) in the RAN.

➤ An Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) is an entirely different approach to deploying mobile fronthaul and midhaul networks built entirely on cloud native principles. O-RAN is an evolution of the next-generation RAN (NG-RAN) architecture, first introduced by GSMA's 3GPP in its Release 15 (5G version 1) technical specification TS 38.401.

➤ The O-RAN Alliance was formed to advance the NG-RAN philosophy, expanding the scope of what was originally outlined by 3GPP. Comprised of more than 1601 member companies, the O-RAN Alliance issues specifications and releases open source software under the auspices of the Linux Foundation.

Function of O-RAN

1- The O-RAN radio unit is the interface between the distributed unit and the centralized unit.

2- By opening and standardizing these interfaces, the network can be deployed across multiple vendors with a more modular design.

3. It is the interface between RU, DU and CU that is the main focus of O-RAN.

4. These interfaces (among other networks) are encouraged to be open, standardized and implemented, allowing networks to be established with a more modular design without relying on a single vendor.

5. These changes may allow DU and CU to operate as virtualized software functions on vendor-neutral hardware.

Advantages of O-RAN

➤ O-RAN will be very attractive to telecom operators as it will be less costly and will allow more flexibility in terms of operations.

➤ If 5G is launched in any country, then 5G networks will be mainly based on O-RAN. Even though O-RAN technology is still under development and will take some time to reach the market.

➤ An open environment expands the ecosystem and, when basic needs are met by more vendors, will spur innovation and provide more options for operators.

➤ This will open new opportunities for organizations in any country to enter the network equipment market.

➤ Benefits of this approach include increased efficiency and flexibility of the network, and cost savings. Through this, 5G is expected to be more flexible and affordable.

Radio Access Network (RAN)

It is a part of a telecommunications system that connects specific equipment to other parts of the network via radio connections.

RAN, which is in various devices like mobile phone, computer or any remote based machine, provides the connection with the main network.

Elements of RAN

Radio Unit (RU) - This is the place where radio frequency signals are transmitted, received, amplified and digitized. RU is integrated into the antenna or installed near it.

Distributed Unit (DU) - This is where the real time, base-band processing takes place. DU can be located or installed near the cell site.

Centralized Unit (CU) - This is where the less time sensitive packet processing work usually takes place.

Traditional RAN

In a traditional RAN system, the radio, hardware, and software are central. This means that all equipment to be used will be provided by a single supplier and that the respective operators are unable to do so, for example, setting up a network via radio using one vendor's hardware and another vendor's software.

Open RAN is the hottest topic in the world of access networks. This involves developing interoperable open hardware, software, and interfaces for cellular wireless networks that use white box servers and other standard equipment instead of the custom-built hardware typically used in base stations.

Issues with RAN

Mixing and matching the cell sites of different providers usually results in a loss in performance. The result is that most network operators supporting multiple RAN vendors will network using a single vendor in a geographic area which can create vendor lock-in conditions with high barriers to entry for new innovators.

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As we have read and understood above, this shows that O-RAN can be an important tool for the coming 5G Network. The most important thing is that it is cost-effective, which will reduce the cost of 5G network. How did you like this article O-RAN and tell me by commenting and also forward to your friends. If you want information on any topic then comment me.

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