xRAN Forum Releases Open Fronthaul Interface Specification as Foundation for Next Generation Open RAN Architecture

13-Apr-2018 Intellasia | BusinessWire | 6:55 AM Print This Post

Open interfaces between the remote radio unit/head (RRU/RRH), the
baseband unit (BBU) and the operation and management (OAM) interface
simplifies interoperability between suppliers

PALO ALTO, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The xRAN Forum (xRAN) today announced the Board’s approval and public
availability of the xRAN Fronthaul Specification Version 1.0 – the first
specification made publicly available from xRAN since its launch in
October 2016. The specification has been designed to allow a wide range
of vendors to develop innovative, best-of-breed RRUs and BBUs for a wide
range of deployment scenarios, which can be easily integrated with
virtualized infrastructure & management systems using standardized data

The new specification delivers on important operator member
requirements. All xRAN operator members extend well deserved credit and
gratitude to the xRAN members who made contributions and facilitated
strong collaboration within the xRAN Forum Front Haul Working Group,
chaired by Verizon Communication.

“Our vision to develop, standardize and promote an open alternative to
the traditionally closed, hardware-based RAN architecture is becoming a
reality,” said Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor at Stanford University and
Director of the xRAN Forum. “Our operator members have been very focused
and clear on requirements and our ecosystem of contributing members have
risen to the challenge. The Fonthaul Specification is the first of
several open interface specifications we expect to be released in 2018.”

“The release of the xRAN Fronthaul Specification is a groundbreaking
advancement toward enabling an open RAN architecture to support
next-generation products and services,” said Bill Stone, Vice President,
Network Technology Development and Planning at Verizon. “xRAN compliant
radios coupled with virtualized basebands provide much needed
flexibility to support rapid development and deployment of RAN
products. By adopting xRAN specifications, we will be able to speed
innovation, increase collaboration, and be more agile to a quickly
evolving market.”

“We are pleased to have worked with xRAN members in reaching the key
milestone of delivering the first open xRAN fronthaul specification,”
said Dr. Hiroshi Nakamura, EVP and CTO of NTT DOCOMO. “We believe that
the completion and publication of this specification will contribute in
further advancing the RAN and in expanding the ecosystem in the 5G era.
DOCOMO will keep contributing to this activity with the experience we
had in realizing multi-vendor interoperable RAN with our partners using
common interfaces for our LTE network.”

“The xRAN Fronthaul Specification is a foundational component in the
xRAN architectural vision and vital to accelerating the worldwide
deployment of next-generation RAN infrastructure network operators
demand,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Research & Technology Innovation,
Deutsche Telekom. “Going forward, by connecting these specification
activities to the broad architectural scope in ORAN, we can ensure the
implementations across a wider community of suppliers to promote both
innovation and open market competition.”

“xRAN’s release of this jointly-developed open specification creates the
first wave of a positive sea change for our industry, transforming the
way next-generation RAN infrastructure will be built, managed and
optimized,” said Andre Fuetsch, CTO and President AT&T Labs. “Equipment
that supports open specifications from xRAN (and ORAN in the future),
combined with increasing RAN virtualization and data-driven
intelligence, will allow carriers to reduce complexity, innovate more
quickly and significantly reduce deployment and operational costs.”

The xRAN Forum fosters a growing ecosystem of innovative and
interoperable RAN products catering to the varied needs of the Forum’s
operator members. Interfaces defined by the xRAN Fronthaul Specification
enable efficient deployment of advanced technologies like Massive MIMO &
Virtualized RAN with support for LTE and NR. The xRAN Fronthaul
Specification addresses several key operator-defined requirements,

  • BBU – RU interoperability based on well specified control, user and
    management plane interfaces.
  • Efficient bandwidth scaling as a function of user throughput and
    spatial layers to address increasing bandwidth needs and Massive MIMO
  • Support for LTE, NR, associated features, 2T – 8T RU products and
    Massive MIMO beamforming antenna systems.
  • Advanced receivers and co-ordination functions.
  • Ethernet based transport layer solutions.
  • Extensible data models for management functions to simplify

A white paper detailing the specification is available on the xRAN
along with a registration link to download the complete

About xRAN Forum

The xRAN Forum was formed to develop, standardize and promote an open
alternative to the traditionally closed, hardware-based RAN
architecture. xRAN fundamentally advances RAN architecture in three
areas – decouples the RAN control plane from the user plane, builds a
modular eNB software stack that operates on common-off-the-shelf (COTS)
hardware and publishes open north- and south-bound interfaces to the

Since its founding the xRAN Forum has gained tremendous industry
momentum with leadership from operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI,
NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telstra and Verizon. At the same time, xRAN has
grown its contributing member base with strong representation from the
vendor community including: AltioStar, Amdocs, Aricent, ASOCS, Blue
Danube, Ciena, Cisco, Commscope, Fujitsu, Intel, Mavenir, NEC, Netsia,
Nokia, Radisys, Samsung, Stanford University, Texas Instruments and
University of Sydney.

For more information about xRAN Forum membership go to
xran.org/membership or email [email protected]


xRAN Forum
Rod Stuhlmuller
[email protected]


Category: BusinessWire, PRAsia

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