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Key Open RAN integration challenges

Multi-vendor integration remains one of the key challenges to overcome to fulfil the expectations of Open RAN technology.

Mats Eriksson / March 15, 2022
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Will Open RAN (Radio Access Networks) become a success or not? There seem to be as many opinions as there are people debating the issue. Many, however, agree that integration in multi-vendor space causes one of the key challenges to overcome.

Mobile communications and the internet are a critical part of our society. 5G is expected to further accelerate digitalization, but to do so, 5G needs to succeed in bringing needed innovation in new services and use cases, as well as in delivering an acceptable cost structure.

In my previous blog and white paper, I introduced certain aspects that will determine if Open RAN becomes a success or not: Is Open RAN the silver bullet for the wireless industry? And as integration is one of the key success factors, I’ll now dive into the full picture of Open RAN integration.

Main Open RAN integration challenges

Some of the key interfaces, such as the fronthaul, are extremely complex and require high performance. Performance is directly influenced by how well we succeed in integration. Building seamless integration requires cross-domain technical skills.

Many seek reduced operational costs, and this calls for the integration of operation, maintenance, and network automation stacks. Here we’re dealing with how Apps running in NearRT & NonRT RIC may interfere as they implement various control-loops. Integration plays a key role also in RAN CI/CD pipelines and test automation supporting solutions and configurations. In multi-vendor Open RAN scenarios, it implies that the SW comes from a variety of vendors into the CI/CD pipeline of a specific integration.

Obviously, security aspects should not be forgotten in a world where the use of open-source and the number of software vendors are both increasing.

Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) are forced to further consider their role and desired vendor independence in integration processes.

My new white paper, Integrating Open RAN – The full picture of key Open Radio Access Networks integration challenges – outlines the understanding of different aspects of Open RAN integration.

  • integration of the various interfaces
  • automation
  • security, and
  • various value-chains for integration

Do you want to explore RAN evolution?

It is evident that deep domain knowledge and R&D skills are necessary to navigate in this complex space. We at Tietoevry have a long track record of helping companies find their RAN path: adding features, optimising & hardening virtualised RAN solutions and purpose-built products.

Have you already found your path forward? We can help you leverage the best areas such as baseband, higher layer protocols, virtualisation, or operation & maintenance.

Do you want to know more? Contact us or connect with me on LinkedIn.

I’m also very keen on getting your reflection on the white paper.


Mats Eriksson
Business Development Lead

Mats Eriksson leads business development and sales in the telecom and radio access sector in Tietoevry Product Development Services. He has previously co-founded technology companies and held managerial positions in various companies. He has a background in academia where he was in charge of a research cooperation institute and founded an EU innovation initiative.

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