Press Item: The OpenAirInterface Software Alliance Commits to Provide Full 5G Software Stack by December 2020

SOPHIA ANTIPOLIS, France, August 14th, 2020 – The OpenAirInterface Software Alliance (OSA) and its Strategic Members Facebook Connectivity, Fujitsu, InterDigital, Inc., Orange, the PAWR Project Office and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. announced working on the creation of two new projects related to 5G Core and 5G RAN to accelerate on existing 5G Development Roadmap.

5G is a wireless technology that has been standardized by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) which has dozens of global members from the wireless industry. What makes 5G a very important area is that 5G adds more than just enormously increased bandwidth capacity. 5G standards have been and are being designed to address a larger number of industrial use-cases than its predecessor 4G technology. This includes use-cases like large-scale  machine-type communications for Internet of Things (IoT), factory automation, Private 5G networks, Tele-health and Tele-medicine applications, Virtual and Augmented Reality capacity, the connected vehicle in the automobile industry as well as ultra-high-speed internet to homes and users across the globe. 5G therefore impacts essentially all walks of life and enables intelligent automation of the world around us. Its strategic importance to our futures is therefore very clear and critical. Likewise, security and data-protection concerns also become of crucial importance in 5G due to the fact that a large amount of mission-critical data will be transported over 5G networks. Another important factor is the cost of equipment and its ready availability in expanded markets that has a strong link to the vendor diversity for 5G equipment in the market.

For all these reasons, most countries around the globe take 5G very seriously and a number of initiatives are coming forth to ensure an ecosystem that allows for different players to enter the market, thus reducing cost of the 5G deployments and ensuring vendor-diversity with secure and reliable 5G gear in the market. One such initiative is the O-RAN Alliance, an operator driven initiative whose mission is to open the Radio Access Network (RAN) interfaces to allow for multi-vendor equipment to work seamlessly across well-defined interfaces. The Telecom Infra Project (TIP) is another such initiative which is developing, testing, and deploying open, disaggregated, and standards-based solution across all areas of the telecom network, including RAN.

The OSA sits at a strategic spot of choice in this 5G ecosystem, producing end-to-end 5G software that runs on general purpose servers in a cloud-native environment. The OSA is working to release a complete 3GPP Release 15 5G stack by the end of 2020. The OSA builds open source software for all components of the 5G stack that allows for deployment of a low-cost 5G network on general purpose hardware and cloud servers. This software is available royalty free for use to any party that wishes to use it as a research and development platform to investigate and explore 5G technology. Potential vendors who wish to build 5G solutions from a comprehensive and complete open source stack can also use the OSA software as a starting point for building their commercial solutions. The OSA software is distributed under the OAI Public License V1.1 that allows for commercial use and distribution of that software with no copyright fees, and the right to any contributor patents under Fair and Non-Discriminatory license terms.

The OSA believes that  in complementarity with the other organizations present in the open RAN arena, the OpenAirInterface Software Alliance undertakes the essential role of producing easily available and deployable software that can be taken by research groups and industrial players to develop solutions. In this regard the OSA, alongside the other aforementioned bodies, is a fundamental and unique supporting member of this innovation environment.

Thanks to the strong support of its Strategic Members, several of whom are the initial sponsors of the newly formed OAI 5G RAN and OAI 5G CORE NETWORK Project Groups within the Alliance,  the OSA has an aggressive 5G software roadmap: the end to end Non-Stand-Alone (NSA) 5G stack as well as the core network is taking final shape and will be delivered end of Q3 2020. The OSA will deliver a 5G core network and Stand-Alone (SA) 5G RAN stack by the end of Q4 2020, making it the first and only end-to-end 5G software that is fully functional and allows commercial 5G devices to attach to the network. The OSA will showcase the stack in live demos at its bi-annual workshop (date and location to be announced shortly).

Working with OSA and other OAI members to release 5G software is a leading effort to transform the mobile network world.” said Yuko Akiyama, Vice President at Advanced Technology Business Division, Fujitsu Limited.  “We continue to contribute to the development of OAI as a strategic member.

InterDigital is proud to participate to the OpenAirInterface to further their mission, as open-source software defined solutions become increasingly important in wireless innovation and implementation-driven standardization,” said Laurent Depersin, Home Lab Director at Interdigital. “As a member, we’re eager to engage further in collaboration with leading industry experts and academics, as it supports our commitment to licensing and the development of open vRAN and vCore technologies.

We are thrilled to be part of OSA at a point in time where the world is turning its attention to Open 5G Technologies as a precursor to future open network innovations and national competitiveness” added Abhimanyu Gosain, Technical Program Director, PAWR Project Office. “The PAWR program is pleased to contribute to this effort that makes the technology accessible to academic institutions and organizations across the globe.

Qualcomm Technologies is excited to support the mission of OAI to produce robust reference software aligned closely with 3GPP 5G standards to support a wide variety of research, development, and testing uses throughout the industry,” said Douglas Knisely, principal engineer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.  “OAI’s ongoing efforts to cooperate with other key industry organizations will provide an important foundation to encourage a robust ecosystem of disaggregated 5G RAN and Core Network technologies.

OpenAirinterface provides something unique and valuable to the world,” said Irfan Ghauri, Director of Operations at OSA. “Great innovators teach us that the best innovation opportunities come not with the tempest but the rustling of the breeze. OpenAirInterface represents exactly the latter in the telecoms arena. We are hereby sending a wide-open call to the industry to join hands with the Alliance in building the future.

About OPENAIRINTERFACETM SOFTWARE ALLIANCE

OSA is a non-profit organization accelerating and democratizing wireless innovation by promoting 3GPP networks using Open-Source Software over Common Off-The-Shelf (COTS) hardware. The OpenAirInterface software stack today offers full 4G and 5G Radio Access Network as well as Core Network implementation. The OSA has more than 60 members from across the globe and the OAI software is used in almost all ongoing activities in 5G.

For more information, please visit www.openairinterface.org.

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