The Telecom Infrastructure project’s OpenRAN (Radio Access Network) specification defines different interfaces in the telecommunications system, allowing equipment from different radio and network equipment developers to work effectively together.
This is especially interesting for private 5G cellular networks and the Internet of Things (IoT), which can combine technologies from different vendors along with AI edge processing for lower latency and power consumption. It also avoids equipment problems with Chinese companies such as Huawei and ZTE, which are subject to bans by Western governments.
The best provider identified by Appledore is Parallel Wireless, based in New Hampshire, with software-defined unified cloud networking software OpenRAN It works with Vodafone Ireland to deploy OpenRAN systems and was part of the 5GRural project in the UK, led by Cisco.
Altiostar, in second place, is based in Massachusetts and provides NEC-powered radio network software in the UK’s home cloud of Telefonica and O2.
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Intel is number 3, combining its CPU and FPGA technologies. NEC is an important provider of OpenRAN hardware systems and is setting up its global R&D for this in the UK. Qualcomm and Xilinx are two other key chip designers on the list.
Currently, US hardware developers dominate the list to challenge European developers Nokia and Ericsson as active suppliers. Now, however, the US government is trying to assess the cost and efficiency of the equipment through its NTIA labs.
“Despite the obvious impact of challenge providers, the evidence portends good for telecommunications service providers (CSPs),” said analyst Robert Curran. “The industry seems to be stepping up calls for greater openness, speed and diversity. And this is just the beginning. “
“The major investments and support provided by major Open RAN vendors explicitly (Dell’s is the latest example) will take time to make an impact – but they will certainly have an impact,” he added.
The Appledore OpenRAN report is on appledoreresearch.com
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