This industry alliance to drive interoperable Open RAN standards is widely recognised for its remarkable contribution in bringing together a global thriving O-RAN ecosystem of operators, vendors and system integrators and to collaboratively develop, promote and validate common Open RAN interoperability standards.

At its very core is the development and publication of the O-RAN specifications, which aim to remove some of the inevitable 3GPP standards ambiguities and to develop common approaches that O-RAN certified solutions will follow to ensure they can interoperate in multi-vendor integration environments.

The O-RAN Alliance is also instrumental in organising several O-RAN Plugfests, PoC’s (proof of concept) and Open Testing & Integration Centres (OTIC) around the world, to enable interoperability testing across the vendors. At this stage there is no OTIC lab in the UK. European OTIC labs are in Berlin, Madrid, Paris and Torino operated by BT, Telefonica, FT-Orange and TIM respectively.  

The O-RAN Alliance provides 3 levels of certification, related to compliance of network elements to O-RAN standards:

  • Certification of Conformance, tests a specific product or “device under test” (DUT) for conformance against the O-RAN interfaces or reference design specification
  • Interoperability badge, provides a pair-wise interoperability assessment between two products (DUTs)
  • End-to-end system integration badge, provides an assessment of end-to-end system integration of a group of products

The O-RAN Alliance has been influential in developing the “split 7” O-RAN disaggregation architecture, namely the two variants of the 7.2x fronthaul specification between the DU and RU, which lends itself particularly well to virtualisation and to a broad range of fronthaul connectivity options.

Founded by its initial five mobile operator members (AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO and Orange) in 2018 only few short years ago, the ORAN Alliance membership is now near ubiquitous across the global RAN ecosystem, with 31 operators and 345 companies in total. 


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