COCUS_Blog_5G_Header_Version_1 open-ran campus-netze
COCUS_Blog_5G_Header_Version_1 open-ran campus-netze

Open-RAN campus networks: like conventional 5G networks – only better

Open-RAN, or Open Radio Access Network, aims to reduce dependence on individual providers in the telecommunications industry. By using open standards and interfaces, companies and network operators can act more flexibly and cost-efficiently. As a result, the Open-RAN approach can significantly change the industry with Open-RAN campus networks.

How secure is the Open-RAN architecture?

As early as 2021, the German Federal Office for Information Security dealt with the topic of Open-RAN and pointed out security-critical aspects in a white paper that should be taken into account when implementing Open-RAN-based networks. An important aspect here is the use of cloud-based 5G network components, clearly specified cloud management interfaces and prescribed security mechanisms.

Based on this white paper, Fraunhofer HHI in collaboration with the University of Passau have asked the question: “How secure is the Open-RAN architecture for future mobile networks?”

The answer: 5G networks are just as secure as conventional 5G networks.

In their white paper on the security of Open-RAN networks, they prove that Open-RAN concepts are just as secure as traditional systems, have additional advantages due to the open architecture and provide more transparency. That means nothing stands in the way of implementing secure, local 5G campus networks for industry! Quite the opposite.

Additionally, Fraunhofer HHI provides recommendations for action to improve security in 5G networks. As a TISAX-certified company, security is naturally a top priority for us, and we have incorporated these recommendations for actions into the continuous development and improvement of our solution for the Open-RAN campus networks.

Advantages of Open-RAN campus networks

Until now, mobile communications standards have relied on conventional, closed ecosystems in mobile networks. In these, the radio access network (RAN) was connected to the packet core. As a result, the ecosystems were vendor-bound and neither flexible nor dynamic. This vendor lock-in is a particular hindrance when networks are to be continuously expanded or optimized, since the individual components in the closed mobile communications architecture are characterized by vendor-specific interfaces and functions. Thus, the integration of non-proprietary hardware or software components is not possible without further ado. Integrating a new mobile communications standard would require a major hardware replacement or rebuild.

The use of Open-RAN architectures is the solution to this comptability problem, because they separate the hardware from the software. Standard hardware and software solutions from various suppliers can be used across the board. This reduces dependence on individual suppliers and creates greater diversity in the market. This can make it easier to identify and fix potential vulnerabilities more quickly. Thus, the new Open-RAN standards aim to open the boundaries of the mobile market and minimize the restrictions for users.

We at COCUS are also taking advantage of the Open-RAN approach and providing our customers with flexible and dynamic solutions that are future-proof with the 5G Campus network from COCUS.
Another advantage of campus networks is the closed operation of the network at the customer’s premises and the associated security benefits. In the local network, business-critical data no longer passes through third-party networks of other mobile operators.

Our campus network solution offers the possibility to be deployed in a cloud, but to increase the security of the network all required hardware and software components can be operated in the customer’s IT infrastructure. Completely individual according to application and customer requirements. How this looks in practice can be seen in our customer-related projects.

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