Samsung Electronics America announced on Wednesday that it has joined the xRAN Forum, a consortium formed to develop, standardize and promote an open alternative to the traditionally closed, hardware-based RAN architecture. As a member, Samsung helps to expand a robust end-to-end ecosystem for carriers, which allows use of open standards to advance the adoption of next-generation technologies such as LTE-Advanced and 5G systems.
The goals set forth by the xRAN Forum address limitations within the current RAN architecture. By joining the xRAN Forum and promoting a flexible and software-centric network platform, Samsung plans to continue to develop solutions that will enable end users to benefit from LTE and 5G technologies around the world.
xRAN fundamentally advances RAN architecture in three areas – decouples the RAN control plane from the user plane, builds a modular eNB software stack that operates on common-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, and publishes open north- and south-bound interfaces to the industry.
“By advocating an open approach to networking, the xRAN Forum is establishing a framework for next-generation mobile systems,” said Nivi Thadasina, Senior Director of Engineering, Wireless Networks, Samsung Electronics America. “The open interfaces are expected to stimulate rapid adoption of multivendor ecosystems by carriers and allow the industry to continue cultivating a climate for more innovations. At Samsung, we are focused on building flexible network architectures that can meet emerging 5G use cases and bring greater value to carriers, consumers, and the enterprise.”
As an extensible software-based solution xRAN not only responds rapidly to real-time user needs, but its open interface will create a climate for accelerated innovation via a multivendor ecosystem. In addition, modularization allows for faster adoption of software-centric designs and implementation, enabling operators to bring services to market faster and more seamlessly while making better use of spectrum and reducing OpEx and CapEx.
“Samsung shares our vision for transforming current network architecture and driving innovation in LTE and 5G,” said Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor at Stanford University and Director of the xRAN Forum. “We are excited for Samsung to join the xRAN Forum and help us develop an open networking approach that will create new opportunities within the industry.”
As a vendor of 5G technology, Samsung has roles in multiple industry organizations reflecting its commitment to investing in an open approach to networking.
Earlier this week, the xRAN Forum announced its intent to merge with the C-RAN Alliance to form a world-wide, carrier-led effort to drive new levels of openness in the radio access network of next-generation wireless systems. The work of the ORAN Alliance will combine and extend the work of both the C-RAN Alliance and the xRAN Forum, while maintaining the key objectives of each group.
Since its founding the xRAN Forum has gained tremendous industry momentum with leadership from operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, NTT/DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telstra and Verizon.
At the same time, xRAN has grown its contributing member base with strong representation from the vendor community including AltioStar, Amdocs, Aricent, ASOCS, Blue Danube, Ciena, Cisco, Commscope, Fujitsu, Intel, Mavenir, NEC, Netsia, Nokia, Radisys, Samsung, Stanford University, Texas Instruments and University of Sydney.