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NTT DOCOMO Leads the New Ecosystem 5G Open RAN

At the heart of the modern 5G Open-RAN Ecosystem NTT DOCOMO intends to speed up the deployment by other network operators of disaggregated radio connectivity architectures and capacity, placing the Japanese giant as the main Open-RAN integrator.

As a long-standing advocate of Open RAN ideas and a leader within the O-RAN Alliance, the company now has experience implementing the Virtual and Open Radio access network technologies in its 4G and 5G networks and wants other providers to implement open, multi-vendor architectures, which will extend the industry and draw wider interest from the technology development community.

It has therefore brought in several key technology collaborators to build “best RAN” technologies and wants to provide a verification portal, which allows for other operators to access the Open RAN Options directly, to further boost the virtual RAN technology with higher functionality and scalability.

It seems, however, that DOCOMO acts as a supplier and integrator of this ecosystem, setting an important precedent for other conventional telcos. (Note that DOCOMO has a great deal of expertise in designing networking products that meet its needs and is famous for its internal R&D processes in technology.)

It also has a fascinating list of original network members, as they include major foreign chip developers and cloud infrastructure specialists as well as the nearest domestic technology partners of the company. Dell Technologies, Fujitsu, Mavenir, NEC, NTT DATA, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Red Hat, VMware, Wind River and Xilinx are collaborators in the field.

The transition suggests that the Rakuten Mobile Group has developed its Rakuten communication (RCP) platform with a variety of collaborators over the past few months in order to include tried and tested open RAN preparation, integration, implementation and technology. Other partners will use this move to help other operators find, implement and introduce Open RAN architecture. (Look at the tech Mahindra gets a piece of the Mobile action from Rakuten.