By Anne Morris

Fujitsu argues open RAN sets operators free

An often-cited benefit of the move to open RAN is operators will have greater choice when it comes to selecting vendors as more new entrants join the ecosystem.

According to Greg Manganello, SVP at Fujitsu, what may be less discussed is that this also means operators “don’t have to choose their entire network solution at one specific point in time – RFP time. Instead, operators adopting open RAN have a long and wide choice window throughout the lifecycle of their network”.

One of Fujitsu’s open RAN customers is Dish Network, which is deploying a cloud-native open RAN 5G broadband network in North America. “Now is really an exciting time in terms of network transformation. We are seeing good momentum with open RAN adoption through collaborations, trials and deployments taking place worldwide,” Manganello said. However, he warned that there are misconceptions relating to open RAN especially around integration and security.

“For some service providers, there is a concern about interoperability and accountability when integrating multiple vendor components into the RAN. While it is true that integrating systems from multiple vendors is not always simple, system integration in an open RAN environment is guided by globally defined standards. So, with methodical processes proven in other open networking initiatives, it works,” Manganello said.

He added: “Cybersecurity best practices are just as important in open RAN as they are in any modern network. The O-RAN Alliance Security Focus Group is committed to ensuring that open interfaces, as defined by the O-RAN Alliance, actually provide increased independent visibility and the opportunity for enhanced security.”