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DoD and NSC partner on ‘Open RAN’ ‌commercialization in the US

The deal will reportedly disaggregate traditionally vendor-locked RAN architectures in support of commercialization


The National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) and the Department of Defense (DoD) have joined forces to augment Open Radio Access Network’s (RAN’s) presence in the US.

The DoD has previously marked the development of open architecture and virtualization as one of its key efforts supporting 5G implementation. 

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The NSC has now announced a “Call for Whitepapers”, as part of its partnership with DoD, ‌seeking industry and academic input to help develop, manufacture, and test 5G open RAN technologies in the US. 

“The central goal of this outreach is to help identify obstacles to emerging or existing companies in accelerating the commercialization of Open RAN in the U.S,” said DoD in a statement. 

“RANs are traditionally vendor-locked, vertically integrated telecommunications architectures composed of base stations, radios, and antennas that enable wireless communications, such as 4G, 5G, and subsequent generations of communications technologies. By disaggregating RAN architectures – thus making them "Open" - more companies can pursue innovation on advanced 5G network architectures and related security.” 

Per reports, the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research & Engineering (OUSD (R&E)) and the National Security Council intend to host an Industry Day in July to expand on the ideas and suggestions gathered through the “Call for Whitepapers.”

The DoD has also collaborated with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration's (NTIA) Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS) over a ‘5G challenge’. 

The challenge will encourage a multi-vendor 5G ecosystem with open interfaces, and interoperable components, while also supporting the domestic industrial base of wireless companies by rewarding innovative entries.

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