Open Ran Policy Coalition Files Comments in FCC NOI on Promoting The Deployment of 5g Open RAN

The Open RAN Policy Coalition filed comments in response to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on Promoting the Deployment of 5G Open Radio Access Networks.

Our comments note that “the communications companies that serve markets in the United States and its partners have reached an inflection point in the development and deployment of Open RAN. In short, the commercial communications ecosystem is rapidly developing and deploying Open RAN, thereby advancing the national interests of the United States and its partners.”

We also detail Open RAN offerings that Coalition members have publicly announced as either presently available on the market or coming to market within the next 12-to-24 months, as well as the significant public interest benefits of Open RAN solutions, namely in four categories:

  • Driving increased competition, innovation and network vendor diversity;
  • Providing technological improvements that benefit network management and innovation;
  • Making services and products more affordable for consumers, including those in rural and low-income communities;
  • Serving as a complement to parallel advances in 5G and network management, in enhancing network security. 

The filing builds upon a new analysis by the Coalition on Open RAN Security in 5G. 5G networks have improved security and subscriber privacy in comparison to previous generation networks, and Open RAN has the potential to build upon these security enhancements, allowing the operator full control, and ultimately enhancing the operational security of their network.

Lastly, the comments delineate the Coalition’s recommendations on ways the FCC and the U.S. Government can help advance the transition to Open RAN. In particular, the Coalition believes that the FCC has four immediate opportunities to contribute to this effort:

  • Identify and address regulatory barriers to Open RAN and secure next generation network buildout;
  • Work with stakeholders to promote a robust global market that includes suppliers based in the United States and its partners;
  • Partner with other agencies in leveraging existing efforts to facilitate use cases and blueprints for Open RAN;
  • Provide carriers real-world opportunities to deploy Open RAN, both in the near-term and longer term, as part of the Universal Service Fund “Rip-and-Replace” proceeding.

The Open RAN Policy Coalition’s full comments are available for download here.