The organization said at the end of November last year that it would deliver a spec late in 2017 or early this year. The group is now delivering an open source specification to develop fronthaul equipment, according to Verizon. (See First xRAN Spec, Backed by AT&T & Verizon, Expected by Early 2018.)
In February, the xRAN.org said that it was merging with the C-RAN Alliance to create the Open RAN (ORAN) Alliance. A spokeswoman for Verizon, however, told us in an email that the xRAN spec defines an "open Internet-based standard on which future RAN products will be built," while ORAN is an effort to "ensure various proprietary CPRI-based systems can understand one another's languages and operations." (See Major Telcos Pool Efforts to Slash 5G RAN Costs.)
CPRI (Common Public Radio Interface) defines the interface between the baseband control and radio elements of a basestation. As a centralized baseband system controlling multiple remote radio heads has become more common with LTE-Advanced, enabling a more multivendor system has become more important for operators.
The xRAN spec essentially aims to deliver radio access network equipment that will allow operators to use gear from multiple vendors.
— Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, Light Reading