Andreas Prott -

CommScope and Parallel push Open RAN

Further acceleration in the field of open radio access networks as comms tech provider CommScope collaborates with Meta Connectivity to promote standard designs and interoperability testing across Open RAN ecosystem, while O-RAN-compliant software platform Parallel Wireless broadens partner roster

As open radio access networks (Open RAN) continues the momentum it has gained over the past few years, CommScope and Parallel Wireless have become the latest firms to climb aboard the Open RAN train.

According to research from Dell’Oro Group in January 2021, cumulative Open RAN revenues from 2020 to 2025 could be as high as $15bn, with revenues expected to account for around 15% of the overall 2G-5G RAN market by 2026, reflecting healthy traction in multiple regions with both basic and advanced radios.

A key driver of this advance is rapid global 5G technology and enabling network deployments leading to more operators opting to choose an Open RAN approach for their network architecture.

CommScope believes that as demand for internet connectivity expands at a rapid pace, the infrastructure that supports it needs to grow and improve. As part of its plans to address this requirement, the communications technology provider has announced a collaboration with Meta Connectivity, alongside a network of industry ecosystem companies, to join Meta’s Evenstar programme and accelerate the adoption of Open RAN by developing open reference designs with the intent to design and build flexible and efficient RAN components.

The collaboration will focus on developing a Massive MIMO (mMIMO) reference design based on O-RAN Alliance interoperability specifications. Massive MIMO substantially increases spectral efficiency to deliver more network capacity and wider coverage. The two organisations will also cooperate on high-level architectural requirements, open standardised antenna and radio interfaces, and best practice calibration designs. The mMIMO reference design will provide operators with the option to further disaggregate the filter/antenna elements from the radio unit, supporting flexibility and delivering implementation options to the market.

Meta Connectivity is working with control unit and distribution unit software suppliers, which will manage interoperability testing, while CommScope will support over-the-air (OTA) testing and characterisation of the antenna in a laboratory environment.  

“We are excited to have CommScope’s expertise in innovative antenna interfaces as part of our Evenstar programme,” said Jaydeep Ranade, director of wireless engineering at Meta Connectivity. “This collaboration will help facilitate an ecosystem of high-quality connectivity – something that becomes more important every day as we move to an increasingly digitally connected world.”

Meanwhile, O-RAN Alliance-compliant, cloud-native Open RAN company Parallel Wireless has announced its largest Open RAN partner ecosystem. The ecosystem encompasses O-RAN split 7.2 radio units (RUs) to provide 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G access from firms such as Comba Telecom and GigaTera Communications; server partners including Supermicro, HPE and Dell; and RAN Intelligent Controllers (RICs) from Juniper Networks to host different xApp/rApps.

“The telecoms industry is demanding networks that are open and flexible so they can reduce deployment and maintenance costs yet maintain quality of service,” said Parallel Wireless president Keith Johnson, commenting on the partnership.

“We are pleased to be working with a broad, open ecosystem of disaggregated RAN solutions using vendor-neutral hardware and software-defined technology based on open interfaces and community-developed standards,” he added. “The future of RAN is open, and we are excited to lead the transformation in the wireless industry.”

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