Samsung Electronics is the latest vendor to announce its membership in the O-RAN Alliance, a move that’s no surprise given the company’s previous efforts in the movement toward more open networks.
The O-RAN Alliance was founded in early 2018 by AT&T, China Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DoCoMo and Orange as a carrier-led effort to integrate greater intelligence into the radio access networks of next-generation wireless systems.
It came into formation after the C-RAN Alliance and the xRAN Forum announced last year that they were merging their efforts and it eventually opened membership up to others, including vendors. Ericsson earlier this month announced it was joining the O-RAN Alliance.
Samsung was a contributor to the xRAN Forum and was instrumental in the creation of the xRAN Fronthaul Specification. Samsung also was selected by Verizon last year to assist in its 4G LTE Open RAN initiative, where it’s supplying gear that includes Baseband Unit (BBU) and Remote Radio Units/Heads (RRUs/RRHs).
RELATED: Verizon joins O-RAN Alliance board
According to Samsung, an open network approach enables the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to help operators better manage their networks through automation as they evolve to 5G, accelerating delivery of next-generation 5G capabilities to consumers and businesses—including AR/VR, autonomous technologies and high-quality video streaming.
“Samsung is an established pioneer in networking technology, from 2G to 4G LTE and 5G NR—and through this evolution, we’ve been committed to fostering innovation through openness,” said Juha Lappalainen, vice president, Networks Division, Samsung Electronics America, in a press release. “We’re excited to partner with carriers and suppliers in the O-RAN Alliance to help design the standards that will optimize today’s networks to meet increasing demands of next-generation users.”
Samsung said it plans to take an active role in O-RAN’S work and will join relevant working groups within O-RAN to spearhead initiatives that include a focus on innovation through network virtualization and open standards development.