FCC Seeks to Start Discussion Around Open RAN Networks
Wednesday, February 24, 2021 | Comments

FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel shared a proposal to open a formal discussion on open radio access networks (RAN), the opportunities they present and what the FCC should be doing to promote the concept.

If adopted at the commission’s March 17 open meeting, the notice of inquiry would seek comment on the current status of open RAN development and deployment, whether and how the FCC might foster its success, and how to support competitiveness and new entrant access to this emerging market.

“Open RAN has emerged as one promising path to drive 5G security and innovation in the United States,” said Rosenworcel. “With this inquiry, we will start to compile a record about how we can secure our vulnerable supply chains once and for all, and revitalize the nation’s 5G leadership and innovation.”

The notice of inquiry, if adopted, would seek comment on the current status of open RAN development and deployment in American networks and abroad. It would also ask about the role of established large manufacturers and of new entrants in setting standards for this new network architecture. It would seek input on what steps should be taken by the FCC, federal partners, industry, academia or others to accelerate the timeline for open RAN standards development. Further, it would seek comment on any challenges or other considerations related to the deployment, integration and testing of systems based on open RAN specifications. The notice also requests comment on the costs and benefits associated with open RAN development and deployment.

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