The National Spectrum Consortium, with support from the Department of Defense (DoD), recently announced the release of a “Call for Whitepapers” to their membership requesting feedback and ideas from industry and academia that could help accelerate the development, manufacturing, and testing of 5G Open Radio Access Network (“Open RAN”) technologies in the United States. The central goal of this outreach is to help identify obstacles to emerging or existing companies in accelerating the commercialization of Open RAN in the U.S.
The DoD has identified the development of Open Architecture and Virtualization as one of its major lines of effort under its 5G Strategy Implementation Plan. RANs are traditionally vendor-locked, vertically integrated telecommunications architectures composed of base stations, radios, and antennas that enable wireless communications, such as 4G, 5G, and subsequent generations of communications technologies. By disaggregating RAN architectures – thus making them “Open” – more companies can pursue innovation on advanced 5G network architectures and related security.
It is believed that this market-based approach represents a sustainable model for accelerating critical 5G innovation while spurring the growth of domestic supply chains based on trusted and secure vendors. To this end, the Department also collaborates with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) on the 5G Challenge. The challenge is a prize competition aiming to accelerate the adoption of open interfaces, interoperable components, and multi-vendor solutions toward developing an open 5G ecosystem while also increasing the domestic industrial base of innovative wireless companies.
The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD (R&E)) and the National Security Council are planning an Industry Day in July to discuss and further explore the ideas and suggestions submitted via the “Call for Whitepapers.” For more information, visit https://www.nationalspectrumconsortium.org/.
The Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E) is the Chief Technology Officer of the Department of Defense. The USD(R&E) champions research, science, technology, engineering, and innovation to maintain the United States military’s technological advantage. Learn more at www.cto.mil, follow us on Twitter @DoDCTO, or visit us on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/company/ousdre.