„5G Made Together” international initiative for cooperation in building a fifth-generation network (5G) in an open model goes live. It has been established by IS-Wireless, a Polish company specialized in providing network solutions, who was a host of the recent international conference on the subject. – 5G bringing multidimensional benefits can only be created based on open ecosystems – the initiators state.
The project has been started during the debate hold by experts and entrepreneurs from all over the world involved in building and investing in 5G network. The host of the conference, President and CEO of IS-Wireless Slawomir Pietrzyk highlighted that the fifth-generation network brings potential and opportunities for entrepreneurs to benefit from, while the open model – Open RAN – makes these possibilities unlimited. It is contrary to the traditional approach of building telecommunication networks, which only brings profit to a handful of largest vendors and operators. – That is why cooperation between numerous entities is crucial for the idea to be widely promoted. The conference on the topic of cooperation in developing 5G we hosted is the very first in Poland and probably the first in this part of the world. We believe that an open ecosystem can bring together partners sharing the same values and business interests – said Slawomir Pietrzyk, while inaugurating the „5G Made Together” initiative.
He added: – Effort for building 5G in an Open RAN model will bring benefits toa large population, instead of the chosen few players. It will give us a chance to reach diversity while supporting the market and customers. We believe in the potential of creativity and teamwork. The fifth-generation network can only be created if we work hand in hand.
Advantages of Open RAN
IS-Wireless invited companies and institutions such as Deutsche Telekom, IBM, Ofcom, Vmware, Cablefree, Comarch, Bitspiration Booster VC, Tambora Systems and Marvell Technology to cooperate. During the first of a kind meeting, experts discussed the advantages of developing 5G networks in an Open RAN model and the challenges it presents.
Franz Seiser of Deutsche Telekom put emphasis on the fact that from a customer’s perspective, it really matters for the network to be based on an open ecosystem. – Traditional approach makes available products dependent on a single vendor. This leads to major limitations in innovation and development of tailored products. Large players focus on the mainstream solutions. This is the reason why Open RAN allows more specialized companies to deliver solutions customized for specific needs – he noticed. – Modular approach to setting up the system grants many companies a way into the market and allows them to meet their specific demands. This leads to greater competition and eventually a broader selection of products – he added.
Experts list benefits of Open RAN networks such as the possibility of using the preferred hardware.
– Separating the hardware layer from the software layer resembles the cloud computing solutions – Franz Seiser pointed out.
Lorcan Burke at VMware noticed that Open RAN allows for building ecosystems especially suitable in more dense, urban environments. – Cooperation with operators must be established to assure connectivity to a network, where it is most needed. We must bring cities and operators together so they can consider reusing available infrastructure. Traditional site acquisition does not work anymore. – he added.
During the meeting hosted by IS-Wireless, experts put emphasis on the benefits of open 5G systems in terms of providing cybersecurity. Robert Kosla, Director of the Department of Cybersecurity at the Chancellery of the Prime Minister of Poland, admitted that the event serves as an important step towards assuring a secure implementation of 5G across Europe. – The work on cybersecurity of fifth-generation network is ongoing and does not only regard legal and regulatory aspects but also the technical solutions of certification and standardization as well. Therefore, the introduction of the EU’s 5G Toolbox is the goal – he stated.
Robert Kosla also assured that the European Commission is ready to cooperate with Member States in order to boost the 5G security while recognizing the open models as well. – Goals of the European Commission include building a knowledge base, identifying challenges and qualities of open models as well as ensuring the security of supply chains – he added.
Zygmunt Lozinski, an expert working for IBM encouraged sticking to the best practice while developing 5G networks. He provided the example of UK, where large operators are expected to meet a set of requirements allowing smaller operators and corporate customers to efficiently establish private networks based on the new generation.
A challenge: bringing tech companies’ attention to Open RAN
IS-Wireless announced further international discussions and meetings under the „5G Made Together” motto. – We face the challenge of finding our roles in the upcoming ecosystem of parties varying in size, location, and specialization. Thus, we must be able to listen to each other and identify our potential roles in the process. The „5G Made Together” initiative has been created exactly to integrate our community and cooperate for its growth – CEO Slawomir Pietrzyk noticed.
IS-Wireless announced in April the start of the first fifth-generation network based on Polish technology to happen in the second half of 2021. The company aims at implementing its solution across the globe and targets 5 percent of the global Open RAN market in a time span of the next three years.