What is the difference between vRAN and Open RAN?
September 28, 2021

It is important to distinguish between vRAN and Open RAN

Virtualization is a journey that the telecoms industry has been on for several years to transform network functions into virtual network functions (VNFs). The VNF software is then decoupled from the purpose-built hardware and run on standardized, common off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. The interfaces between each component in such a set-up may still be closed or proprietary.

Open RAN, on the other hand, refers to the standards used to create more open internal interfaces and define a particular architecture for disaggregation, virtualization, and automation, with the aim of introducing new capabilities and helping to integrate new vendors into the supply chain. This is particularly relevant for the RAN given that its disaggregation into separate hardware and software has proven to be far more challenging than that for other network domain elements, such as the packet core.

The evolution of RAN architecture from fully integrated to open

Source: Analysys Mason Limited 2021

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