As 5G is expected to radically change how we live, work, and play, it is critical to make network infrastructure commercially available as quickly as possible to ensure business success for operators. To this end, open source is one of the most efficient ways to accelerate product development in a collaborative and cost-efficient way.
The O-RAN SC will provide open software aligned with the O-RAN Alliance's open architecture. As a new open source community under the Linux Foundation, the O-RAN SC is sponsored by the O-RAN Alliance, and together they will develop open source software enabling modular, open, intelligent, efficient, and agile disaggregated radio access networks. The initial set of software projects may include: near-real-time RAN intelligent controller (nRT RIC), non-real-time RAN intelligent controller (NRT RIC), cloud and virtualization platforms, open central unit (O-CU), open distributed unit (O-DU), and a test and integration effort to provide a working reference implementation. Working with other adjacent open source networking communities, the O-RAN SC will enable collaborative development across the full operator network stack.
"The launch of the O-RAN SC marks the next phase of that innovation, where the benefits of disaggregated and software-centric platforms will move out to the edge of the network," said Andre Fuetsch, Chairman of the O-RAN Alliance, and President of AT&T Labs and Chief Technology Officer at AT&T. "This new open source community will be critical if 5G is to reach its full potential."
"The O-RAN Alliance is aiming at building an 'Open' and 'Smart' Radio Access Network for future wireless systems," said Chih-Lin I, chief scientist of China Mobile, co-chair of the O-RAN Technical Steering Committee and member of the Executive Committee of the O-RAN Alliance. "We believe that the power of open source will further the momentum and accelerate the development, test, commercialization and deployment of O-RAN solutions."