This week’s announcement, from the four major mobile operator groups in Europe, is an important milestone in the adoption of Open RAN and creating a viable Open RAN ecosystem. In it, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telefonica and Vodafone commit to making Open RAN “the technology of choice” for their RAN deployments.

OPEN RAN will be a key technology for modern mobile networks and its success requires strong timely collaboration and support from both industry and policy makers in order to achieve early economies of scale. (MoU)

In a strong MoU they commit to an action plan for widespread roll out of competitive, multi-vendor, Open RAN deployments in 2022. They call on European governments to financially support Open RAN initiatives from R&D to collaborative testbeds.

Ecosystems need nurturing!

The four operating groups are recognising the need to nurture a competitive ecosystem of Open RAN suppliers. To achieve this, they are focusing on:

  • Prioritising the technical requirements of Open RAN
  • Setting up a commercial framework for Open RAN procurement, which mandates O-RAN alliance interfaces in future RAN procurement.

Closer to an Open RAN future?

Appledore has predicted our view that all RAN will ultimately become Open RAN. This initiative by four of the largest mobile operator constellations is, we believe an important first step on the route to achieving this. However, more importantly, we think it can address two key challenges for Open RAN success spelled out in our recent research:

  • Without a strong integration ecosystem for Open RAN there will be a fragmentation of new Open RAN vendors and the incumbents will remain dominant players in “open” RAN.
  • Without a strong pull from operator procurement, new open RAN players will never quite scale and sustain their businesses

You can read the full text of the MoU here.

For a free Executive Summary of our Open RAN report, click here