ETSI Releases First O-RAN Specification
Monday, September 19, 2022 | Comments

The European and Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and O-RAN announced that ETSI adopted the first O-RAN specification as ETSI TS 103 859, namely “O-RAN Fronthaul Control, User and Synchronization Plane Specification v7.02.”

“Recognition of O-RAN specifications by ETSI is another major step in enabling broad adoption of Open RAN,” said Claire Chauvin, O-RAN board member and strategy architecture and standardization director at Orange. “Having the O-RAN specification available as an ETSI specification adds further endorsement desired by commercial and public sector entities in a range of countries.”

The document focuses on Open Fronthaul, one of interfaces in the O-RAN architecture for open and intelligent radio access networks (RAN). It specifies the control plane, user plane and synchronization plane protocols used over the fronthaul interface linking the O-RAN distributed unit (O-DU) and the O-RAN radio unit (O-RU) for the lower layer functional splits. The scope of TS 103 859 includes both LTE and 5G New Radio (NR).

The ETSI Publicly Available Specification (PAS) process enables an ETSI partner to submit one or more of its PAS for adoption by ETSI. It can then become an ETSI Technical Specification (TS) or ETSI Technical Report (TR). The organization asking for this process must be a legal entity, have an intellectual property rights (IPR) policy compatible with ETSI's or have exceptionally accepted to apply ETSI’s IPR policy, and have signed a cooperation agreement.

“The O-RAN specification has been approved as an ETSI specification after a thorough review and requested revisions by our experts,” said Dominique Everaere, chair of the ETSI mobile standards group technical committee. “When specifications go through the ETSI PAS process, they need to comply with the ETSI rules, and the ETSI committee in charge of these specifications works with the organization to ensure they align with existing procedures for approval as ETSI standards.”

O-RAN is preparing to submit more of its specifications to the ETSI PAS process to recognize additional parts of the O-RAN architecture as ETSI specifications.

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