Get to know Open RAN Technology

By. Fita Indah Maulani

The main goal is to provide the best service for customers and encourage Indonesia’s digital society. Telecommunication network providers, especially cellular operators, must provide network services with the latest technology.

After several trials in Indonesia since 2018, this year, the commercialization of 5G technology is prepared to be implemented in various potential cities. Of course, the presence of new technology requires a lot of capital expenditure.

Facing the COVID-19 pandemic, almost all businesses affected and must have various efficiency measures as a strategy. The calculation of the capital cost of building infrastructure with a payback period before the presence of other latest technologies is also a concern. Seeing the tighter margins in the telecommunications industry, globally, not only in Indonesia, the Open RAN technology, which stands for Open Radio Access Network, was developed.

Open RAN is a technology that integrates all technologies, be it 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G, into one server system. The core or server in Open RAN can be in the form of a virtual server so that mobile operators can use multi vendors in implementing a network topology without being tied to one brand.

This concept provides cost efficiency for capital expenditure (Capex) and operational expenditure (Opex) on the cellular operator side with customers’ same quality service. This technology opens up opportunities for operators to expand the network and develop other services for the community.

It is not clear how much efficiency can gather from using Open RAN. However, mobile operators’ various research and calculations assess that the Open RAN architecture will significantly reduce Capex 5G compared to 4G. For example, Deutsche Telekom says the Open RAN architecture will reduce the CAPEX 5G bill by at least 50% compared to 4G. Various mobile operators believe their Capex will decrease by 30% – 50% with Open RAN.

With the programming capabilities provided by Open RAN, operators can launch new applications and services without depending on vendors. Operators can bring new services to the market sooner, and they will be able to make money faster. All of this will take the consumer experience to a new level.

Despite the efficiencies offered, Open RAN can provide a much-needed platform for innovation, driving new opportunities and revenue streams for mobile operators and their customers. One of them is developing the internet of things (IoT) solutions as a new source of income.

OpenRAN separates network hardware and software components. This separation of hardware and software, and the development of isolated network sharing capabilities such as node truncation, enables mobile operators to realistically and securely share physical network resources as part of their 5G deployment.

The virtualization that OpenRAN brings allows operators to run more efficiently and reliably, creating a distributed cloud edge that can provide software-based networking functionality on standard servers. The move to a cloud-native architecture allows network functions and applications divided into tiny microservices that can be mixed and matched to fit the required application.

As a result, smart devices can be integrated tightly into the network, not just connected endpoints. This solution can span everything from simple IoT devices to connected multi-function devices and autonomous vehicles, and extends to manufacturers, buildings, smart cities, and even people.

Open RAN is a win-win solution for all – network operators benefit from lower costs and the ability to bring new services to market faster while users have access to new services when they need them and for a smoother operating network. Operators benefit from increased capabilities to manage network performance-related challenges, such as increasing capacity and coverage where needed.

**this article has been published at local online media Urbanasia: https://www.urbanasia.com/mengenal-teknologi-open-ran-apa-itu-U23940