Research Note

Open RAN makes its debut on OCP-certified servers and the Evenstar open RU shines

May 2024

Abstract

Bem vindo! Just back from lovely Lisbon, Portugal, where I kicked off and moderated the wrap up panel of the “Special Focus: Open RAN” session that took place on Wednesday, April 24 from 13:00 to 17:00, during the OCP Regional Summit. According to the Open Compute Project (OCP) executives, 725 people crowded the Lisbon Congress Center located along the spectacular Tagus River waterfront—Passeio Carlos do Carmo and Tejas Promenade—and near what I call the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge sibling: Ponte 25 de Abril. Guess what, Thursday, April 25 was a big holiday with huge celebrations all over the place in Lisbon for the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution that led to the current name of the bridge.

Never mind, although most of us found Lisbon unusually expensive, the event was successful and all attendees, including speakers and exhibitors who made the trip, had a packed OCP-driven agenda. I was invited to cover the open RAN ecosystem in the context of promoting the Evenstar project aimed at developing and commercializing affordable open radio units (RUs) to the masses. This “Special Focus: Open RAN” session boasted a comprehensive mix of representatives from the OCP ecosystem illustrated in Figure 1:

  • Local communications service provider (CSP): NOS
  • European open RAN specialist: Rapid.Space
  • JDM/ODM/OEM/OPM specialist: MiTAC from Taiwan
  • Test, validation and certification lab: i14y Lab
  • System integration, engineering, and CU/DU software: CapGemini
  • Standards body: ETSI
  • Contract manufacturing: JABIL (ships 1M RU units per year)

It was an incredible OCP performance to assemble such a lineup that covers the entire open RAN chain from components, radios, CU, DU to testing, validation, and certification accordingly to standards, to the manufacturing and production of the final system to be integrated and installed in a CSP’s brownfield network. Put everyone in the same room for a full afternoon, et voilà le travail!



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