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Ericsson casts shadow over Open RAN North America

Light Reading's Phil Harvey explained that while talk of AT&T and Ericsson's partnership dominated conversation at the Open RAN North America event, the news was surprising in light of Ericsson's lack of open RAN certifications.

Kelsey Ziser, Phil Harvey

December 12, 2023

At a Glance

  • Market implications of AT&T's partnership with Ericsson on open RAN. (01:25)
  • Examining Dish's approach to open RAN. Comparing greenfield and brownfield open RAN deployments. (06:33)
  • Why the US Department of Defense is interested in open RAN. (09:02)

The announcement that Ericsson would be AT&T's equipment supplier for its open RAN network overlapped with last week's Open RAN North America event, much to the interest of attendees. Light Reading's Phil Harvey, who attended the show, explained that while talk of AT&T and Ericsson's partnership dominated conversation at the event, the news was surprising in light of Ericsson's lack of open RAN certifications.

AT&T's choice of Ericsson as its equipment supplier will likely raise some eyebrows. According to the O-RAN Alliance, Ericsson does not have any open RAN certifications with the organization.  

Phil also discusses key topics from the Open RAN North America event including challenges in the open RAN market and why the US Department of Defense is interested in deploying the technology.

Click on the caption button for a lightly edited transcript.

Here are a few topics we covered:

  • Open RAN's market viability and how different operators are approaching the technology. (01:04)

  • Market implications of AT&T's partnership with Ericsson on open RAN. (01:25)

  • Ericsson equipment isn't open RAN certified, according to the O-RAN Alliance. (04:42)

  • Examining Dish's approach to open RAN. Comparing greenfield and brownfield open RAN deployments. (06:33)

  • Why the US Department of Defense is interested in open RAN. (09:02)

  • Challenges in the open RAN market. (12:18)

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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