O-RAN Alliance and OpenAirInterface Software Alliance expand cooperation

Via O-RAN Alliance

Dec 18, 2023

  • Joint workshop of the two communities took place on November 14-15 in Boston
  • Members of both communities agreed to work closely on the open source implementation of O-RAN, including SMO, O-Cloud and other open source RAN functions
  • Open source software plays an important role in supporting companies in development, testing and integration of their commercial open and intelligent RAN solutions

Burlington, Massachusetts, United States, and Bonn, Germany – The O-RAN ALLIANCE, the O-RAN Software Community (OSC) and the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) communities joined hands to hold the "Joint OSC/OSFG-OAI Workshop: End-to-End Reference Designs for O-RAN" in collaboration with the Institute for the Wireless Internet of Things at Northeastern University. This two-day workshop took place on November 14-15, 2023 at the Innovation Campus in Burlington, MA.

Open source software plays an important role in supporting companies in development, testing and integration of their commercial open and intelligent RAN solutions. This timely event was organized to unite open-source communities to establish a collaborative roadmap for delivering open-source reference designs. The workshop accomplished its objective of coordinating the work of multiple open-source communities in rolling out end-to-end reference showcases of the O-RAN technology as they are expected to deploy and operate in the field. End-to-end showcases are designed to be continuously integrated, deployed, and tested systems in several open labs around the world that demonstrate all aspects of O-RAN.

Main outcomes of the workshop include:

  • Members of both communities agreed to work closely on the open source deployment of O-RAN including Service Management and Orchestration (SMO), O-Cloud components, and other open source network functions
  • Workshop participants agreed on collaboration on interfaces between O-RAN components developed in each open source community, such as between OAI's O-CU, OSC's O-DU-high, and OAI's O-DU-low
  • The event featured recent demos of O-RAN functionality, including O1, A1 and E2 interfaces, SMO, policy-management, Near-RT RIC implementations and xApps
  • Workshop participants also agreed to interconnect OSC open labs, OAI lab and selected Open Testing and Integration Centre (OTIC) labs to enhance day-to-day collaboration.

O-RAN ALLIANCE has been specifying the O-RAN Architecture for almost six years and the industry has been gradually adopting this technology. In alignment with the O-RAN specifications, there has also been a significant amount of design work in the open source communities notably O-RAN Software Community (OSC) and OpenAirInterface (OAI).

“The members of the two communities gathered at this event to reflect on the roadmap of the O-RAN reference designs in open source, particularly to roll out end-to-end showcases of the entire O-RAN stack,” said Irfan Ghauri, Director of Operations at the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance. “Continuous integration, deployment as well as testing are the most challenging aspects of a showcase that serves the needs of researchers and industry alike. Further burning questions like O-CLOUD reference architecture were also important topics that were addressed at this event.”

“I was impressed by how the academia, government and open source ecosystem players came together with the OAI, OSC, and Northeastern University during these workshops,” said David Kinsey, O-RAN Software Community Technical Oversight Committee co-chair. “Identifying complementary roles in the source code community and implementations of open RAN specifications will help us accelerate the realization of open RAN.”

"O-RAN ALLIANCE fully supports cooperation among software communities to boost progress of open software development," said Chih-Lin I, Co-chair of O-RAN ALLIANCE Technical Steering Committee and China Mobile Chief Scientist, Wireless Technologies, China Mobile Research Institute. "Offering open source software helps the industry in commercialization of O-RAN products, fulfilling O-RAN ALLIANCE's mission of transforming the RAN to be more open, intelligent, virtualized and interoperable."

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