With classic cellular architectures, there is a limited number of vendors involved in building the network. Liability agreements are clearly defined and, with pre-integrated end-to-end solutions, interoperability challenges are non-existent. With open radio access network (RAN) elements proliferating in the ecosystem, the number of vendors competing in the market increases significantly. In this environment, there are more players who offer smaller (and potentially cheaper) modular network components. By allowing multiple suppliers to compete to provide different subcomponents in the ecosystem, Open RAN injects competition into the supply chain. Rather than a restricted choice, operators now have freedom of choice in how they construct their networks. For example, there are now more than 60 Open RAN suppliers globally, which opens the door for even more innovation.
Modular architectures like Open RAN have a significant impact on the industry’s structure. They enable non-integrated vendors to design and sell best-of-breed simpler solutions. For example, in its recent launch of Pikeo, an end-…
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