Thursday, May 7, 2020

New RAN Group Forms to Open Wireless Infrastructure Supply Chain

More than 30 tech companies yesterday announced the formation of the Open RAN Policy Coalition, a group that will advocate for the development of interoperable components for cell towers.

Members are working to change the way cell tower radio access networks (RANs) work, so that multiple vendors’ open tower radios, hardware, and software can be used interchangeably, rather than requiring proprietary products from one vendor. The group will work to influence governments worldwide.

However, members believe the U.S. government, “has an important role to play in facilitating and fostering an open, diverse and secure supply chain for advanced wireless technologies, including 5G, such as by funding research and development, and testing open and interoperable networks and solutions, and incentivizing supply chain diversity.” Members say such a process could help new companies enter the RAN market by lowering existing barriers to entry.

The security of the American telecom supply chain was an issue before the COVID-19 pandemic affected industries and economies. U.S. Administration security agencies allege that Chinese manufacturers Huawei and ZTE cooperate with the Chinese government to use their telecommunications gear and software to spy on the U.S. government and citizens. The two companies deny the allegations. Continue Reading

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