Verizon, TIM, and Reliance Jio joined the O-RAN Alliance board. The O-RAN Alliance, which stands for Open RAN, formed in February when the xRAN Forum said it would merge with the C-RAN Alliance. The two groups had been conducting complimentary work and decided to combine forces, though the merger wasn’t finalized until June when the O-RAN created a board of directors.
Verizon and Jio were both original members of the xRAN Forum. Verizon was involved in creating the xRAN Forum’s fronthaul spec and chaired the corresponding working group. Neither Verizon nor Jio were initially listed as a members of O-RAN in June.
The O-RAN board of directors is chaired by Andrew Fuetsch, president of AT&T Labs. And Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP of strategy and technology innovation at Deutsche Telekom, serves as the operations officer. Additional members of the group include AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo, Orange, Bharti Airtel, China Telecom, KT, Singtel, SK Telecom, Telefonica, and Telstra.
O-RAN also said this week that it is working with the Linux Foundation to establish an open source software community and work to create open source RAN software that supports O-RAN architecture and interfaces.
O-RAN has seven working groups that are focused on use cases and architecture, radio intelligent controller, fronthaul, stack reference design, cloudification and orchestration, resource information and control, and white box hardware.
This week the group released its inaugural white paper to outline its architecture and vision. Its architecture is meant to drive a cost-effective, intelligent RAN with open interoperable interfaces for 5G networks and other next-generation networks.
The white paper outlines specific work of each of the groups including a software-defined artificial intelligence (AI)-enabled RAN controller. The controller decouples the control-plane from the user-plane into the RAN with additional intelligence to increase the efficiency of the RAN and deliver better radio resource management.
Additional work detailed in the paper includes developing key open interfaces, white-box base station hardware, and creating NFV infrastructure (NFVI) and virtual infrastructure management (VIM) specifications.