Among recent open RAN developments, Verizon announced it is preparing for open RAN field trials in 2023 that could lead to deployments later in the year, while Virgin Media O2 is working with Mavenir to include an open virtual RAN (vRAN) solution as part of its network evolution plans. Meanwhile, Cohere Technologies, Intel, Juniper Networks, Mavenir and VMware have joined forces to develop open RAN software interfaces that support various mobile technology generations.
Progress with open RAN deployments has lagged behind expectations, but this has not dampened interest from the industry. GSMA Intelligence data shows that although only 18 operators have commercially deployed open RAN, more than 80 operators have exhibited interest or announced plans to deploy solutions. The transition to open RAN will occur in phases, with deployments picking up as technology-related challenges are addressed. News of operators moving from announcements of open RAN ambitions to signing up vendors and conducting trials will only help sustain momentum and bring them one step closer to live deployments.