What is Open RAN (Radio Access Network)?

The complexity of 5G presents significant management challenges for CSPs, who are looking for the most effective and cost-efficient way forward. In the past, RANs were built with all the components coming from a single network equipment vendor. This approach has proven to be excessively expensive and does not readily lend itself to the innovation necessary for 5G. Instead, the industry has been pushing OpenRAN, which ultimately will be required for 5G to reach its maximum potential. Stand-alone 5G continues to open up the network by using virtual networking architectures such as software-defined networking (SDN), network functions virtualization (NFV), and 5G network slicing, which allows CSPs to meet SLA-specific requirements for connectivity, speed, and capacity.

The best way to assure service and security across such architectures is to use packet data to see across the entire infrastructure, as well as the applications and services involved. This includes all dependencies in an open architecture, with an end-to-end view of all components in both physical and virtual multigenerational networks.