Mobile network operators worldwide continue trials and early deployments of Open RAN networks. Recent research by Dell’Oro, a telecom industry analyst company, estimates that 10% of the RAN market value will come from open solutions in 2025. This forecast was shared by Omidia, another global research leader, which also expects Open RAN solutions to reach that percentage up from 1% currently. They base their forecast in part on the motivation by MNOs to benefit from the lower capital costs of an open disaggregated approach, which enables best-of-breed solutions and avoids vendor lock-in.
Integration, testing and lifecycle management of the various multi-vendor, multi-technology network elements, end-to-end performance management and service commissioning, and automation of all processes based on AI/ML, including inventory discovery in brownfield deployments, are essential conditions to ramp up the roll out of Open RAN solutions and make them commercially viable. Add to this the continuous evolution of Open RAN standards and architecture developed by various industry bodies and the challenge grows.
Atrinet’s NetACE vendor-agnostic SMO can be integrated in any OpenRAN enabled solution architecture, with full discovery and FCAPS management capabilities. That includes Fault, Configuration, Discovery, Performance and Security management. Vendor-Agnostic SMO functionality allows for single unified FCAPS management for all Open RAN elements and functions – RU, DU and CU. This is done via O-RAN O1 Interface directly connecting to O-RAN element and functions, as well as indirectly via the RAN vendor’s EMS NBI during the transition phase to fully open architecture.
Open RAN network architecture means also Open xHaul (Fronthaul, Midhaul, Backhaul) network that need to be carefully managed by the same unified SMO. Atrinet NetACE vendor-agnostic model-based SMO provides Discovery and full-FCAPS management for the disaggregated Open RAN and Open xHaul domains.
NetACE can automate service delivery such as opening an xHaul connection with its QoS, TE and Synchronization requirements across multi-vendor equipment at a click of the button or adding and replacing vendor elements with another without losing the logical connections of the service.
“As Open RAN standards and vendors’ products that support them continue to evolve, the importance of model-based vendor-agnostic EMS solution is key to fast and flexible introduction of Open RAN solutions,” says Yaron Nachman, director of Pre-Sales at Atrinet. “This means being able to add and change new network elements, services and logical connections quickly and accurately as well as offering MNOs the flexibility to integrate vendor elements that best suit their needs.”