US Invests in Open RAN Technology with Major Grant

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In a significant move to bolster innovation and development in mobile network technology, the US government, through the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), has allocated $42.3 million to support research in Open RAN. This investment is part of a larger $1.5 billion Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund aimed at enhancing the Open RAN ecosystem. Leading the charge are telecom giants AT&T and Verizon, in collaboration with a consortium that includes notable academic institutions, industry manufacturers, and international telecom operators NTT DoCoMo from Japan and Reliance Jio from India.

This funding is designated for the establishment of a primary Open RAN research and development center in Dallas, Texas, alongside a secondary facility in the Washington DC area. Named the Acceleration of Compatibility and Commercialization for Open RAN Deployments (ACCoRD) project, this initiative seeks to propel the development and deployment of Open RAN technologies.

Despite their involvement, it was specified that the international partners, NTT DoCoMo and Reliance Jio, would not receive financial support from this fund, emphasizing the project’s focus on domestic advancement.

This grant marks a crucial step in diversifying and securing the mobile network supply chain, addressing the current market’s lack of competition and innovation. Following Dish Wireless, which received $50 million for a similar initiative, AT&T and Verizon’s involvement underscores the increasing momentum towards Open RAN technology. These efforts are aimed at creating a more open, flexible, and competitive landscape for mobile networks, promising faster innovation and broader vendor participation.

With significant investments and strategic collaborations, the US is paving the way for a more open and dynamic future in mobile network technology, signaling a strong commitment to leading in the global shift towards Open RAN.

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