Open RAN share in total mobile network deployments is only going to grow – experts argue

We are facing a true paradigm shift and need more initiatives promoting open ecosystems – conclusions of Digital Catapult webinar on Open RAN

On 3 October, a ‘How Open RAN can open doors to innovation’ webinar was hosted by the UK’s leading authority on advanced digital technologies, Digital Catapult.

We see a growing consumer interest in Open RAN technology. Its part in total mobile network deployments is only going to grow” – said Aleksandra Checko-Jelonek, PhD, product manager at IS-Wireless, during the event.

“Insights from SONIC Labs testbed users”; panel was a part of the Digital Catapult’s webinar. The participants discussed their experiences with the Digital Catapult’s flagship project – SONIC Labs environment. SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) Labs is an environment designed to test and develop integration of various 5G mobile network solutions and architectures from different suppliers. The UK government supports Open RAN deployment and market diversification as a part of its overarching mobile network strategy.

Aleksandra Checko-Jelonek, PhD was one of the panellists, discussing the progress made so far in scope of SONIC Labs and expectations of the 1 st cohort of its participants. She represented IS-Wireless, a Polish company providing 4G and 5G Open RAN mobile networks. The enterprise is also one of the SONIC Labs programme’s beneficiaries.

Checko-Jelonek talked about the cooperation between IS-Wireless and Digital Catapult:

While we are still at the beginning of this adventure, the UK government’s support helps a lot” – she said. “We look forward to strengthening our existing customer relations within the British market, and to creating new ones. SONIC Labs programme certainly is a great aid in that”.

We appreciate the collaborative approach that SONIC Labs offers. We’ve collaborated in other projects as well and we are always very appreciative of the openness and dialogue” – Checko-Jelonek stressed at the webinar.

She emphasised that SONIC Labs allows IS-Wireless to develop both the technical and business model facets of their work.

This in turn allows us to streamline the development process of multi-vendor solutions including our products and services” – she pointed out.

Checko-Jelonek mentioned IS-Wireless’ goals.

As the members of the 1st cohort of participants at SONIC Labs testbed we expect to achieve interoperability of provided network elements. We also expect a satisfactory performance in terms of latency” – she said.

According to the IS-Wireless’ representative, part of Open RAN in the total mobile networks market “is only going to grow”.

We see a growing consumer interest in Open RAN: clients ask specifically for those solutions. Officials and the industry are supporting and investing in this technology as well” – Checko-Jelonek concluded.

IS-Wireless joined SONIC Labs earlier in July as one of 5 companies and will work on integrating its Open RAN solution in real-world indoor mobile network settings.

SONIC (SmartRAN Open Network Interoperability Centre) Labs is a two-year programme from Digital Catapult and Ofcom, funded by the British Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, to allow new solution providers to enter the telecoms supply chain in the UK. It will drive forward the rollout of a new wireless communication technology known as Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN), which enables mobile networks to be built using a variety of different equipment suppliers.

About IS-Wireless

IS-Wireless develops and delivers 4G and 5G mobile networks supporting more users with better performance at lower cost by applying cutting edge technologies. The company is a provider of software and hardware necessary for building 4G and 5G networks in the scope of both RAN and Core. IS-Wireless participates in the Open RAN revolution and expects significant changes in the way networks are built and deployed in the coming years. The company has been recognized as one of a few European RAN vendors by leading telco operators including Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Telecom Italia/TIM, Telefónica and Vodafone in their November 2021 report “BUILDING AN OPEN RAN ECOSYSTEM FOR EUROPE”.