European Best Practice
The UK Government’s Open RAN Principles policy paper, published in April 2022, acknowledges considering the views of industry bodies such as the Open RAN Policy Coalition (referencing its roadmap) and TIP.
The Open RAN Policy Coalition represents a group of companies to promote policies that advance the adoption of open and interoperable the Radio Access Network solutions, as a means to advance innovation, competition and supply chain diversity for advanced wireless technologies including 5G. Its underlying focus appears to be on supply chain security and cyber security with a geopolitical nuance around countering the dominance of China and creating a resurgence in technology developed in the USA and allied countries – also aligning to relevant Quad initiatives.
The Coalition states that “members believe that by standardizing or “opening” the protocols and interfaces between the various subcomponents (radios, hardware and software) in the RAN, we move to an environment where networks can be deployed with a more modular design without being dependent upon a single vendor. Standardizing and developing open interfaces will allow us to ensure interoperability across different players and potentially lower the barrier to entry for new innovators.”
The Coalition has a focus on (US) government policy that would facilitate a thriving marketplace of suppliers based on open interfaces. To that end, the coalition will promote policies that:
This being a US-focused organisation, membership of the Coalition is dominated by American technology leaders and MNOs (including Google, Meta, AWS, Intel, HP, Dell, Cisco, Verizon, Dish, IBM, Altiostar), with notable participation from Indo-Pacific MNOs and Vendors (NTT, NEC, Fujitsu, Samsung, Jio, Airtel) and also two big European Telcos – Vodafone, Telefonica – and a European vendor Nokia.
The Coalition hailed the recent US CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 as a “landmark legislation that contains funding for research and development critical to increasing supplier diversity, as well as the ongoing deployment of Open RAN”. The Act makes available over $1.5Billion in funding to promote, develop and deploy open and interoperable radio access networks. This is comparable to the total funding extended by the UK Government for DCMS 5G Trials and Testbeds and other 5G and Telecom Supply Diversification initiatives since 2019.
Building a more competitive, innovative, and diverse supply chain for the global telecoms market.