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Open-RAN (Radio Access Network)

Focus: GS III- Science and Technology

Why in News?

Recently, The Ministry of Communications has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with M/s VVDN Technologies Private Limited to facilitate registered startups, innovators and MSMEs working in the field of Open RAN (Radio Access Network) to get their product tested at the existing lab of M/s VVDN.

Open-RAN (Radio Access Network)

  • Open-RAN is not a technology, but rather an ongoing shift in mobile network architecture that allows networks to be built using subcomponents from a variety of vendors.
  • O-RAN has an open, multi-vendor architecture for deploying mobile networks, as opposed to the single-vendor proprietary architecture.
  • O-RAN uses software to make hardware manufactured by different companies work together.
  • The key concept of Open RAN is “opening” the protocols and interfaces between the various subcomponents (radios, hardware and software) in the RAN.

Radio Access Network (RAN)

  • It is the part of a telecommunications system that connects individual devices to other parts of a network through radio connections.
  • A RAN resides between user equipment, such as a mobile phone, a computer or any remotely controlled machine, and provides the connection with its core network.

Elements of RAN

  • The Radio Unit (RU) is where the radio frequency signals are transmitted, received, amplified and digitized. The RU is located near, or integrated into, the antenna.
  • The Distributed Unit (DU) is where the real-time, baseband processing functions reside. The DU can be centralized or located near the cell site.
  • The Centralized Unit (CU) is where the less time-sensitive packet processing functions typically reside.

Advantage of O-RAN

  • An open environment expands the ecosystem, and with more vendors providing the building blocks, there is more innovation and more options for the Operators. They can also add new services.
  • It will open new opportunities for Indian entities to enter into the network equipment market.
  • The benefits of this approach also include increased network agility and flexibility, and cost savings.
  • It is expected to make 5G more flexible and cost efficient.
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October 2022
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