Interoperability & Testing Labs
Any fragmentation of the UK market away from European and global trends would risk leading to sub-scale opportunities and therefore devaluing UK ecosystem collaboration efforts.
Therefore, it is important that all UK ecosystem initiatives retain a global harmonisation focus; avoiding fragmentation is one of DCMS’ six approaches to realising Open RAN.
On an international level working with policymakers internationally can deliver synergy dividends and avoid conflicts and fragmentation; the UK have signed up to the Prague Proposals.
On the demand side, looking at mobile operators Vodafone, Telefonica and DT (a BT shareholder), the UK is host to 3 Europe's Big 5 Open RAN coalition, who are seeking concerted European support and EU investment. All three groups also carry out some of their global Open RAN development activities in the UK.
Assurance of compliance with standards via neutral testing environments is one of the six approaches identified by DCMS for realising Open RAN. Several organisations outside the UK provide Open RAN certification or test and validation ‘badges’, most notable being the O-RAN Alliance and TIP.
5G deployments are well under way in most developed markets including Japan, Korea, China and the USA. This might be a good thing when it comes to adoption of Open RAN in the UK – as these could leave larger parts of the networks for Open RAN rollout – especially as all large European MNOs have recently aligned in their public commitment to Open RAN.
Building a more competitive, innovative, and diverse supply chain for the global telecoms market.