Over 30 technology companies, including Amazon Web Services, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Verizon, formed a coalition to promote policies for openness and interoperability in a key part of the architecture used by mobile devices, particularly for 5G use.

In previous generations of wireless technology, one manufacturer would provide the radios, hardware, and software in a “closed proprietary solution” at a Radio Access Network (RAN) cell site. The companies in the Open RAN Policy Coalition want to be able diversify the component elements in the RAN to drive innovation and competition as more 5G networks are deployed.

“By promoting policies that standardize and develop open interfaces, we can ensure interoperability and security across different players and potentially lower the barrier to entry for new innovators,” said the coalition’s Executive Director Diane Rinaldo, in a press release Tuesday.

In traditional networks, the core network connects to the internet to access an application. “With the advent of 5G, the core and the application functionality will shift closer to the end user,” said Rinaldo, in an interview with MeriTalk. This shift to 5G makes the Radio Access Network (RAN) cell sites more vital, she said.

Last month, four House members introduced the Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act to provide up to $750 million over a 10-year period to support the deployment and use of Open Radio Access Network technologies and equipment.

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Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten
Dwight Weingarten is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.