[White Paper] – Open RAN Transitions for Established Providers


This 451 Research Pathfinder paper navigates brownfield operators through the issues surrounding an Open RAN business case, exploring the business value of adoption, and recommending the range of considerations and concrete next steps in the decision-making process.

Executive Summary
The wave of new Radio Access Network (RAN) technologies that leverage virtualized and cloudbased resources can transform wireless delivery and operations. One of the most important aspects is the shift to open models of development that let providers blend software and equipment to become more adaptable and agile in how they approach markets and engage with their customers. Open RAN initiatives seek to allow the independent development of hardware and software in the wireless world. They leverage the virtualization of functions that have historically been bound within physical appliances to create opportunities for innovation.

Growth and competition in existing 4G networks and the transition to 5G technology have dramatically increased pressure on operators to become more efficient. The journey to a more decomposed mobile edge for existing environments can seem daunting from both the operational and technical perspectives, but recent advances in the industry have opened up routes that can help achieve the full benefit and smooth the transition. The result is the ability to build capacity with greater flexibility and agility, which can dramatically improve new services. While some have seen this only as a greenfield opportunity, there are advantages to putting the approach to work for operators in all stages of deployment.

About The Author

Eric Hanselman is the Chief Analyst at 451 Research. He has an extensive, hands-on understanding of a broad range of IT subject areas, having direct experience in the areas of networks, virtualization, security and semiconductors. He coordinates industry analysis across the broad portfolio of 451 Research disciplines. The convergence of forces across the technology landscape is creating tectonic shifts in the industry, including SDN/NFV, hyperconvergence and the Internet of Things (IoT). Eric helps 451 Research’s clients navigate these turbulent waters and determine their impacts and how they can best capitalize on them. Eric is also a member of 451 Research’s Center of Excellence for Quantum Technologies.

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