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Funding, telco buy-in still needed to propel open RAN

US Ignite's Mari Silbey explains how government funding, such as NTIA grants, will support service provider engagement in open RAN deployments.

At a Glance

  • Testing and interoperability challenges to deploying open RAN (06:07)
  • Funding challenges for open RAN and funding opportunities from groups such as the National Spectrum Consortium (12:57)
  • Update on NTIA grants for wireless research and development (21:08)

Mari Silbey, senior director at US Ignite, returns to the podcast to discuss how service providers can access government funding for open RAN deployments. She also explains how more supplier diversity and changes to network operating models could benefit telcos' bottom lines. 

Click on the caption button for a lightly edited transcript.

Here are a few topics we covered:

  • State of the open RAN market in North America (03:56)

  • New revenue and operating efficiency opportunities for service providers from open RAN (05:23)

  • Testing and interoperability challenges to deploying open RAN (06:07)

  • Funding challenges for open RAN and funding opportunities from groups like the National Spectrum Consortium (12:57)

  • Topics Silbey will discuss during her panel at the Open RAN North America event in Dallas, Dec. 6-7 (15:40)

  • Update on NTIA grants for wireless research and development* (21:08)

*Editor's Note: Timing is everything: This podcast was recorded 24 hours before the Biden Administration's announcement that an additional $13 million in funding from the Wireless Innovation Fund has been awarded to "support the development of open and interoperable wireless networks."

Related:Podcast: US Ignite's Mari Silbey on hybrid networks and new broadband business models

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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