5G Technology world will host a discussion of Open RAN technology on June 16, 2021. Register here.
Open radio access networks (Open RAN) are all the rage in the 5G community and engineers should know how they work. Open RAN rips open the proprietary baseband units (BBU’s) that connect base-station radios to digital networks. Breaking the BBU into three parts — Radio Unit (RU), Distributed Unit (DU), and Centralized Unit (CU) — frees network operators from proprietary systems. Operators can then choose software suppliers for each unit, potentially running everything about the radio itself on COTS hardware. This open system also lets operators choose the supplier that best need its needs. Open RAN brings forth opportunities for niche functions with on the RAN that can’t happen with proprietary BBUs.
This panel of open RAN experts — covering software, network equipment, and test — will break down the technology in engineering terms, giving engineers insight into the technology. The panel will cover how open RAN disaggregates functions formerly encapsulated into proprietary boxes called baseband units.
The discussion takes place on Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at 11:30 ET, 8:30 PT, 16:30 UK, 17:30 CET.
Opening the RAN into RUs, DUs, and CUs offers flexibility in network design and opens the door for new applications and functions. This openness brings interoperability concerns. Industry organizations are working on standardizing the interfaces between units. Still, the opportunity for interoperability issues can hinder Open RAN adoption. The good news is that the telecom industry knows how to deal with interoperability. This panel will discuss:
- The radio. As the gateway to the network, 5G radios must connect seamlessly to the distribution units. Some radio functions, particularly at baseband, and reside in the radio or further up the network. That leads to tradeoffs and decisions on where to place these functions.
- The software. How does a distribution unit work? How does a centralized unit work? Open RAN software providers will discuss more than what goes in and what comes out. They won’t treat the open units as black boxes.
- Interoperability. This will require testing of the interfaces between units. Someone has to verify standards compliance and test for interoperability. The test industry will be the arbiter.
- Testing. The panel will look at baseband for the radio unit. Do the radio units, distribution units, and centralized units function as intended? Who will perform these tests?
Keith Johnson, President and COO, Parallel Networks
Keith brings to the organization a tremendous amount of business, technology and thought leadership expertise. As Chief Technology Officer at his previous company, Fuze, Keith led innovation and differentiation strategy for Fuze’s product portfolio. Prior to Fuze, Keith was co-founder and CEO of Parlai, a Boston-based startup focused on cloud-based email analytics. Keith holds a BSE in Civil Engineering and Operations Research from Princeton University.
Sridhar Bhaskaran, Senior Product Manager at Altiostar Networks, Bangalore
Sridhar Bhaskaran has been involved in the wireless and telecommunications industry for 18 years. He has played various roles – as a developer, software architect, system architect, standards and industry relations and product management. He was an active contributor to 3GPP standards between 2013 and 2019 and has been involved with various 3GPP work groups like SA2, CT4, CT3, CT1 and RAN3. He is currently involved with O-RAN Alliance working groups WG5 and WG4. He is currently working as a Senior Product Manager at Altiostar Networks, Bangalore. In his current role he has been actively involved with customers in discussing deployment aspects of Open RAN architectures. Prior to joining Altiostar he worked with Cisco Systems and Huawei Technologies as a 3GPP delegate. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science Engineering from Coimbatore Institute of Technology.
Olli Andersson, Senior Vice President Americas, Benetel
Olli Andersson is Senior Vice President Americas at Benetel. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, California, Andersson has a wealth of wireless communications expertise. Most recently, Andersson headed up Nokia and Nokia Bell Lab’s Innovation Centre in Sunnyvale, California. During his career, Andersson has led laboratories and teams of innovators, managers and engineers across the globe on a wide range of advanced telecommunications projects. He and his teams have been pioneering wireless communications for Communication Service Providers as well as private networking for public safety, government and industry verticals. Prior to joining Nokia in California, Andersson spent three years in South Korea heading Nokia Siemens Networks’ Smart Lab and CTO team. Andersson holds an MBA in Strategic Management from the Helsinki University of Technology and a B.Eng in Telecommunications from the Mikkeli University of Applied Sciences.
Stephen Douglas, Head of 5G Strategy, Spirent Communications
Stephen works for Spirent’s strategy organization helping to define technical direction, new innovative solutions and market-leading disruptive technologies. Currently, Stephen leads Spirent’s strategic initiatives for 5G, IoT and Automotive. With over 20 years’ experience in telecommunications, Stephen has been at the cutting edge of next-generation technologies and has worked across the industry with service providers, start-ups and network equipment manufacturers, helping them drive innovation and transformation. Stephen is an ardent believer in connected technology and strives to challenge, blur and break down the silos that prevent innovation and business success.