Open RAN Policy Coalition Files Comments with NTIA on Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund Implementation

Today the Open RAN Policy Coalition filed comments in response to the National Telecommunications and Information Agency’s (NTIA’s) request for comment on Implementing the Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund, a critical linchpin in the broadband and technology infrastructure investments under NTIA’s stewardship.

In its comments, the Coalition writes, “Enhancing interoperability and diversity throughout communications network supply chains will foster innovation, drive competition, and bolster resiliency in ways that augment and amplify the goals of related programs under the CHIPS Act and the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. This, in turn, will serve as a catalyst to accelerate Open RAN advances in the immediate near term and create scale as soon as possible. Therefore, time is of the essence, and ORPC urges NTIA to fund key projects as soon as possible this year.”

The filing emphasizes that with targeted funding in the immediate near term, the Wireless Innovation Fund can promote a virtuous and continuous cycle of innovation, design, testing, and trial/pilot deployments, proofs of concept, and commercial deployments.

Based on its members’ industry experience, the Coalition also makes observations about the state of Open RAN deployment and recommends ways in which the Fund could help drive and accelerate the commercial deployment of Open RAN at scale in the United States and other key markets so that it will be a competitive option immediately in 5G deployments.

NTIA should expedite investments in order to affect 5G deployments in the near future and to get ahead of next-generation developments, and should not delay funding 5G deployments to wait for 6G. To that end, the Coalition’s comments provide the below:

  • Recommendations for program execution and collaboration to achieve NTIA’s goals;
  • An overview of the state of the Open RAN industry;
  • Discussion regarding technology development and standards;
  • Analysis of challenges and opportunities in integration, interoperability, and certification;
  • Perspectives regarding trials, pilots, use cases, and market development; and
  • Suggestions regarding next steps to bolster the security of Open RAN networks.

The Open RAN Policy Coalition’s full comments are available for download on our website.