The GSMA has teamed up with the O-RAN Alliance in an effort to promote the adoption of 5G and facilitate the development of products that take advantage of the new infrastructure. Both the GSMA and the O-RAN Alliance believe that Open Radio Access Networks (RAN) will be an integral part of the 5G future, with the GSMA arguing that 5G will enable the creation of custom networks specifically designed to meet the needs of large organizations.
“When 5G reaches its potential, it will become the first generation of mobile networks to have a bigger impact on enterprises than consumers,” said GSMA Chief Technology Officer Alex Sinclair. “In the enterprise sector alone, we forecast $700 billion worth of economic value to be created by the 5G opportunity. The growth of the open networking ecosystem will be essential to meeting enterprise coverage and services needs in the 5G era.”
The GSMA has previously predicted that mobile operators will invest more than $1.1 trillion over the next five years, and that 80 percent of that money will be spent on 5G networks.
“As the demand for data and vastly expanded mobile communications grow in the 5G era, a global, cross-border approach is needed to rethink the RAN,” said O-RAN Alliance Chairman and AT&T CTO and EVP Andre Fuetsch. “The GSMA collaboration is the sort of global effort that’s needed for operators and vendors to succeed in this new generation.”
The two organizations are hoping that their partnership will allow mobile operators to take a more intelligent approach to 5G deployment. They are also hoping that competition will encourage innovation and create cost efficiencies, especially if Radio Access Networks can be built with interoperable components from different vendors.
The O-RAN Alliance and the GSMA have both formed independent relationships with the Telecom Infra Project, which should be strengthened as the result of their latest collaboration. The GSMA, meanwhile, has continued to advocate for 5G technology during the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that there is no relationship between 5G and the spread of the disease.