O-RAN Is Important for Telecom Industry to Reduce Costs and Promote Diversity

At the first roundtable discussion organised by ASSOCHAM, a non-governmental trade body, leaders and stakeholders from the industry talked about the potential of O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) in India.

G Narendra Nath, Joint Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat (NSCS), the government of India, said that O-RAN is of great importance as radio access networks account for the bulk of the investments in networks.

Nath said that with O-RAN, the goal is to provide an open interface for the disaggregated and virtualised entities that are there.

P Balaji, Chairman, ASSOCHAM National Council on Digital Communications, said that ASSOCHAM has been working with the government of India to help promote policy formation, which will accelerate the adoption of O-RAN in the country.

5G Is an Opportunity for O-RAN to Contribute

Balaji added that since 5G is just around the corner, it is an opportunity for the O-RAN ecosystem to contribute to the growth of the telecom sector by offering cost-effective networking solutions and adding to the goal of the government’s AatmaNirbhar Mission.

Narendra Rawat, Vice President, Sales Engineering, Mavenir, said that the initial cost of deploying something needs to be kept in mind. Rawat said that there’s a need for products that are required in huge volumes so that everybody can benefit from the economy of scale.

Raghavendran Ramiya, a Senior Architect at Telco Security Rakuten, said that a very high TCO (total cost of ownership) is a challenge that the operators face right in offering 5G services to the customers with the traditional approach of building and rolling out networks.

Ramiya stressed the point that the traditional approach would not work and help with enabling the wireless ecosystem to thrive. It is only when the industry moves towards a cloud-native, multi-vendor, disaggregated Radio access network with programmability using RIC that the TCO will reduce.

Vishy Ramaswamy, Vice President 5G and Digital Solutions Tata Communications, said that the innovation in telecom hasn’t scaled to the point it should have, and O-RAN would be an attempt to bring the innovation mindset to the telecom industry.

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