Crafting a Transatlantic Approach to 5G: Assessing the Evolution of Open RAN in the United States and Europe

Rarely do technical standards capture the public imagination. Yet, open radio access network architectures, Open RAN for short, has increasingly found itself at the forefront of 5G policy and industry discussions on both sides of the Atlantic. One recent forecast predicts that cumulative Open RAN revenues could be as high as $15 billion (or 10% of the overall RAN market) by 2025. Over the past year, four major European operators—Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone, Orange, and Telefonica—joined forces to support the rollout of Open RAN in their future mobile networks across Europe. Similarly, in the U.S., operators such as Verizon, AT&T, and Dish have also expressed interest in Open RAN. However, there is also widespread recognition that commercial deployments continue to face significant challenges and that Open RAN is not a silver bullet for broader economic and national security concerns. As this space continues to evolve, is there, and to what extent should there be, a transatlantic approach to open 5G network architectures?

Join the Woodrow Wilson Center’s Science and Technology Innovation Program (STIP) and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Washington, D.C. as we go beyond the buzzwords for a closer look at the evolution of open 5G network architectures across the transatlantic community.
With leading industry experts in the field, we will examine (a) the benefits of and concerns associated with open 5G architectures, (b) where we stand—in the United States and Europe—in terms of the development and deployment of Open RAN, (c) the strengths and shortcomings of the transatlantic approach to date, and (d) opportunities for greater transatlantic 5G cooperation and coordination going forward.


Sławomir Pietrzyk – CEO and Founder, IS-Wireless
Stein Lundby – Senior Director of Technology Strategy, Qualcomm
Franz Seiser – Vice President of Access Disaggregation, Deutsche Telekom AG
Samih Elhage – Senior Advisor for McKinsey and Madison Dearborn Partners, and Board Member for Cogeco Inc.