The use of Open-RAN approaches can significantly change the industry. Until now, mobile standards relied on conventional closed ecosystems in mobile networks by connecting the radio access network (RAN) to the packet core. These are neither flexible nor dynamic due to vendor lock-in. The entirety of a mobile network is structured in such a way that base stations communicate via radio with smartphones, tablets and laptops, as well as machines, using transmission technologies and mobile radio standards. However, these mobile networks are mostly based on rigid solutions that are dependent on only one manufacturer.
This vendor lock-in is a particular hindrance to continuous expansion and optimization options, since the components in the closed mobile communications architecture are characterized by vendor-specific interfaces and functions. 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 so-called Open-RAN architectures is the solution to this comptability problem, because Open-RAN separates the hardware from the software in a software-defined approach. The overlapping use of white-box hardware and software solutions from different suppliers is possible. Operators who choose mobile network elements with standard interfaces can avoid being stuck with one vendor’s proprietary hardware and software. 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 are providing our customers with flexible and dynamic solutions that are “future-proof” with the 5G Campus network. In order to guarantee the highest quality standards, we have entered into a partnership with the American telecommunications company Airspan Networks and have successfully certified our Packet Core with the Arispan. We use the Airspan Open-RAN solution for a modular approach so that the respective mobile radio components can be deployed flexibly and permanently. This means that new, innovative technology can also be quickly implemented in existing systems without the need for costly retrofits or replacement of components. The goal is to quickly integrate future mobile communications standards, such as 6G, into existing Open RAN-based systems. This saves time, money and nerves!