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OPEN RAN: Accelerating Innovation and Flexibility

New Delhi, Delhi, India

The 3rd edition of Open RAN India 2024 International Conference was organized by Bharat Exhibitions on Friday, February 16 at Hotel Shangri La, New Delhi. It was a star studded event with experts from various verticals speaking and assimilating knowledge on ORAN.

Mr. Anil Tandan, Director General, Broadband India Forum, gave the welcome address where he spoke about the ORAN ecosystem. “Diversification and growth of ORAN is the key to innovation. The support from the government is also pivotal in accelerating 5G networks in the near future and it could also be the stepping stone for 6G rollout too which is going to happen in the end of this decade too”, he said. 

Guest of Honour, Shri G. Narendra Nath, Joint Secretary, National Security Council Secretariat, Government of India has spoken about vendor diversity, ORAN alliance and telecom infrastructure. “To ensure quality, security of the components is highly crucial in the ORAN ecosystem. We evaluate all the vendors before putting them on board, via the Trusted Telecom Portal,” he said.

Dr. Rajkumar Upadhyay, CEO, C-DOT was the Chief Guest during the conference. “I have no doubt in saying that ORAN will definitely succeed in India. But at the same time I am also reiterating on the fact that ORAN cannot continue in its traditional model. It needs revamp. Today the network is cloud based which is already disaggregated, in a way cloudification being the stepping stone for ORAN. India being a prowess in technology, the country has a great chance in ORAN technology in the days to come. During the session, Dr. Upadhyay stressed up on indigenous Open RAN initiatives in the country and how this will help building a secure network system. He also called upon maximum participation of domestic industry / academia to come forward to develop solutions including Chips that will be funded and help contribute to the vision of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat.

Mr. Jagbir Singh, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone Idea in his speech said, “Cost and efficiency is the key to ORAN deployment and the role played by various agencies is extremely important. Multiple companies are willing to supply the chipsets but deployments of 4G and 5G need to be refreshed for ORAN to be more successful and compatible, making way for 6G.

Mr. Narendra Kumar Rawat, Vice President (Technology), Mavenir gave the Industry Keynote address. He spoke about the government’s role in deploying ORAN in the country. Creation of ORAN ecosystem is very important, and the Government is creating that trusted source and bridging the gap between vendors and players. The IOT lab at CDOT is a great step towards deployment of ORAN and its success. The bilateral relation between USA and India has also been a great initiative for ORAN.

Mr. Saurabh Mittal, VP & Head Standards & Technology, Bharti Airtel in his address said, “Challenges and struggle with ORAN is very much prominent but we all need to find a way out of it. We have really undermined the ORAN in real time processing, which needs to be addressed.

Mr. Shashi Dharan, Managing Director, Bharat Exhibitions, in his Vote of Thanks said, “Today here at the conference, we witnessed how the Indian 5G ecosystem is gearing up to be at the front haul of technology adoption and it’s time we make the most out of it.’’

Session 2 was for the technical presentations. Mr. Jeevan Talegaonkar, Vice President (5G Business), Reliance Jio was session chair for the session. He spoke at length regarding the Diverse Monetization Strategies for Open RAN vis a vis Private Networks and Enterprise Solutions.

Mr. Vikalp Dutt, Director – Sales Engineering, India region, Mavenir, spoke about the role Mavenir has been playing in deployment of ORAN technologies in the country. He said, “Open RAN principles present an efficient way of building networks that ensures interoperability, virtualization, vendor flexibility, element security, and a cloud-native approach that reduces the total cost of ownership (TCO) across the radio access networks.’’

Dr. Tsunehiko Chiba, Chief Wireless Architect, CTO Office, VIAVI Solutions, “With a comprehensive solution suite at the Summit today, we have already crafted a way for ORAN ecosystem where partners will deliberate on its challenges and deployment models. Testing at scale is crucial to ensure ORAN’s optimum performance and interoperability. We at Viavi Solutions offer the best and comprehensive end to end OPEN RAN test suite to analyze the lifecycle of RAN networks,’’ he said.

Mr. Mahesh Basavaraju, Market Segment Manager – Wireless Communications, Rohde & Schwarz, said, With the technical evolution and motivation of Open RAN, radio access networks (RANs) are made open, disaggregated and intelligent. This technological evolution fosters future RAN to build on virtual network elements, white-box hardware and standardized interfaces.

Shri Ashok Kumar, DDG UPW LSA, Department of Telecommunications was one of the eminent speakers during the technical session.  He said, “Acceleration is the key now, OPEN RAN has taken up speed like never before now. Interface between BBU and RU and its application is the way ahead now, which will make ORAN operational.” ORAN Adoption challenges through an operator’s lens, Comparison of TCO and performance as compared to classical RAN, The Critical Role of Testing in Open RAN Success, Status of ORAN implementation in India & Globally and Security in Open RAN were some of the issues discussed during the session.

The 3rd and final session, Panel Discussion was graced by eminent panelists like Shri Ashok Kumar, DDG UPW LSA, Department of Telecommunications, Mr. Ashish Bhatia, Director – Sales Engineering, India Region, Mavenir, Mr. Radhakant Das, Head of Technology & Engineering, Telecom Networks, TCS and Mr. Alok Shankar Pandey, Additional General Manager (IT), Dedicated Freight Corridor Corporation of India.

The conference was partnered by Mavenir, Rohde & Schwarz, Viavi Solutions, Techspire Services, C-DOT, Communications Today and Broadband India Forum.

 

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