REGULATORY

ETSI Releases O-RAN Specification

By Shriya Raban

ETSI and O-RAN have announced that ETSI has adopted the O-RAN specification as ETSI TS 103 859, namely ‘O-RAN Fronthaul Control, User and Synchronisation Plane Specification v7.02’. The document focuses on Open Fronthaul, one of interfaces in the O-RAN Architecture for open and intelligent Radio Access Networks. It specifies the control plane, user plane and synchronisation plane protocols used over the fronthaul interface linking the O-DU (O-RAN Distributed Unit) and the O-RU (O-RAN Radio Unit) for the lower layer functional splits. The scope of TS 103 859 includes both LTE and NR (5G).

“Recognition of O-RAN specifications by ETSI is another major step in enabling broad adoption of Open RAN,” says  O-RAN board member and strategy architecture and standardisation director at Orange, Claire Chauvin,. “Having the O-RAN specification available as an ETSI specification adds further endorsement desired by commercial and public sector entities in a range of countries.”

“The O-RAN specification has been approved as an ETSI specification after a thorough review and requested revisions by our experts,” says chair of the ETSI Mobile Standards Group Technical Committee, Dominique Everaere. “When specifications go through the ETSI PAS process, they need to comply with the ETSI rules, and the ETSI committee in charge of these specifications works with the organisation to ensure they align with existing procedures for approval as ETSI standards.”

The ETSI Publicly Available Specification (PAS) process enables an ETSI partner to submit one or more of its PAS for adoption by ETSI. It can then become an ETSI Technical Specification (TS) or ETSI Technical Report (TR). The organisation asking for this process must be a legal entity, have an IPR policy compatible with ETSI’s or have exceptionally accepted to apply ETSI’s IPR policy, and have signed a Cooperation Agreement.

O-RAN is preparing to submit more of its specifications to the ETSI PAS process to recognise additional parts of the O-RAN Architecture as ETSI specifications.

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