DOCOMO publishes 5G Open RAN white paper

28 Jun 2021

Japan’s largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, NTT DOCOMO, has announced the release of a new white paper on a ‘5G Open RAN Ecosystem’ that it says will support the build out of adaptable infrastructure ‘capable of leveraging 5G wireless communication to meet the diverse needs of operators and related companies’. In a press release dated 28 June, the MNO confirmed its aim to commercialise a flexible and scalable virtualised RAN (vRAN) in 2022, adding that it is collaborating with a dozen partners to eventually verify vRAN performance and providing Open RAN to carriers across the globe. DOCOMO’s white paper sets out the parameters of the Open RAN ecosystem, explains its potential benefits, and highlights possible test case examples of applications it hopes to develop, while also addressing the challenges that lie ahead in deploying Open RAN and vRAN in the real world.