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Open RAN success is a 'choose your own adventure' for telcos

Core Analysis CEO Patrick Lopez explains how success in the open RAN market could look different for a variety of operators, and why considering the timing for deploying the technology is critical.

Kelsey Ziser, Phil Harvey

November 29, 2023

At a Glance

  • State of the open RAN market in North America (04:40)
  • How new RAN approaches can provide operational efficiencies and revenue opportunities for service providers (09:01)
  • Examining the differences between non-real-time RICs and near-real-time RICs (13:58)

Patrick Lopez, founder and CEO of Core Analysis, joins the podcast to discuss the state of the open radio access network (RAN) market in North America. Lopez explains how success in the market could look different for a variety of operators, and why considering the timing for deploying open RAN is critical.

"Open RAN is a journey and you have to pick the right window. For some, it was going from 4G to 5G, [for others] it was going from 5G NSA to 5G SA," he says, referring to 3GPP's non-standalone (NSA)and standalone (SA) 5G standards. "... Right now we're at the beginning of open RAN in North America. We're seeing some implementation but not the level of maturity we've seen in other markets."

Lopez also discusses Dish Network's approach to open RAN, how both greenfield and brownfield operators can benefit from cloud-native networks, and different approaches to the RAN intelligent controller (RIC). 

Click on the caption button for a lightly edited transcript.

Here are a few topics we cover:

  • State of the open RAN market in North America (04:40)

  • How new RAN approaches can provide operational efficiencies and revenue opportunities for service providers (09:01)

  • The role of the RAN intelligent controller (RIC) (12:18)

  • Differences between non-real-time RICs and near-real-time RICs (13:58)

  • Lopez plans to speak about RAN intelligence, visibility and control at the Open RAN North America event in Dallas on December 6-7 (24:33)

Related:Why open RAN needs flexible hardware acceleration

About the Author(s)

Kelsey Ziser

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Kelsey is a senior editor at Light Reading, co-host of the Light Reading podcast, and host of the "What's the story?" podcast.

Her interest in the telecom world started with a PR position at Connect2 Communications, which led to a communications role at the FREEDM Systems Center, a smart grid research lab at N.C. State University. There, she orchestrated their webinar program across college campuses and covered research projects such as the center's smart solid-state transformer.

Kelsey enjoys reading four (or 12) books at once, watching movies about space travel, crafting and (hoarding) houseplants.

Kelsey is based in Raleigh, N.C.

Phil Harvey

Editor-in-Chief, Light Reading

Phil Harvey has been a Light Reading writer and editor for more than 18 years combined. He began his second tour as the site's chief editor in April 2020.

His interest in speed and scale means he often covers optical networking and the foundational technologies powering the modern Internet.

Harvey covered networking, Internet infrastructure and dot-com mania in the late 90s for Silicon Valley magazines like UPSIDE and Red Herring before joining Light Reading (for the first time) in late 2000.

After moving to the Republic of Texas, Harvey spent eight years as a contributing tech writer for D CEO magazine, producing columns about tech advances in everything from supercomputing to cellphone recycling.

Harvey is an avid photographer and camera collector – if you accept that compulsive shopping and "collecting" are the same.

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