Thursday, November 18, 2021

Operators push for Open RAN ecosystem for Europe

 Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia (TIM), Telefónica and Vodafone are calling upon policymakers, EU Member States, and industry stakeholders to collaborate and urgently prioritise Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN). 

The five leading European mobile operators say open, intelligent, virtualised and fully interoperable RAN  is essential if Europe is to meet its target of 5G for all by 2030, and for the continent to play a role with 6G.

A report by Analysys Mason sets out five policy recommendations:

  1. Ensuring high-level political support for Open RAN. Europe needs to talk with a common voice and identify Open RAN as a strategic priority.    
  2. The European Commission creating a European Alliance on Next Generation Communication infrastructures and a roadmap for innovation as it has done for Cloud and Semiconductors.    
  3. Policymakers providing funding and tax incentives to operators, vendors and start-ups to support the development of European solutions along the entire Open RAN value chain, based on public-private partnerships, testbeds and open labs.    
  4. Promoting European leadership in standardisation. Globally harmonised standards ensure openness and interoperability.    
  5. Working with international partners to promote a secure, diverse, and sustainable digital and ICT supply chain.    

Claudia Nemat, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer of Deutsche Telekom, said: “Decisive action is needed now to ensure Europe maintains its competitiveness in the development of the next generation networks. Especially in North America and Asia there is strong backing for Open RAN. Europe should not fall behind but seek a leading position in the new Open RAN ecosystem. It will help accelerate network innovation, faster rollouts and service creation for our customers.”

Michaël Trabbia, Chief Technology and Information Officer, Orange, said: “Open RAN technology will play a fundamental role in the networks of tomorrow, enabling them to be built and managed more efficiently and cost effectively. If Europe is to build the next generation of digital networks that will power its economic success then we must do more to support the ecosystem in Europe which is delivering this technology. Now is the time to collaborate altogether and secure Europe’s future at the forefront of digital innovation.”