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David Taylor

Open RAN: Telecom's Biggest Change in Decades

5 Minutes

Here's hope Open RAN is playing its part in the biggest change to telecoms in decades.Whilst...

By David Taylor

Managing Director

Here's hope Open RAN is playing its part in the biggest change to telecoms in decades.

Whilst some traditional vendors are more keen than others to welcome Open RAN’s emergence, no one can deny it has shaken up the future of telecoms. In this article, we’ll briefly touch upon the diversity that Open RAN brings to the telecommunications market, how this has affected recruitment and what we believe will be the impact going forward.

Competition is good for everyone

Open RAN allows for more newcomers to enter the telco market and this will inevitably make traditional vendors more competitive due to their catalogue of legacy equipment. Open RAN forces traditional vendors to think dynamically and work with organisations such as O-RAN alliance to push the industry forward. Kester Mann, director of consumer and connectivity at CCS Insight recently said “Open RAN presents an opportunity to evolve and disrupt the vendor ecosystem, bringing fresh choice for operators and supporting the emergence of a host of new companies,”. Regarding how this will impact traditional vendors, Mann said “[Nokia sees] an opportunity to disrupt the market and threaten larger rivals Ericsson and Huawei by migrating its RAN portfolios from highly aggregated and optimised single-vendor systems to including more modular, open platforms.”

From the operator’s perspective Open RAN is an exciting opportunity as it welcomes the chance for new, innovative and potentially cost saving services to be used. However, as mentioned in Telecom TV’s ‘Open RAN ecosystem webinar’, market sentiment suggests that it will be some time until operators can build, with confidence, a Open RAN based network that will rival the performance which you can buy from a traditional vendor.

Operators now, more than ever, need to assess with multiple vendor solutions. Should an operator rely on new, perhaps relatively unproved players in the market? Or should they buy solutions from reliable vendors whom they have had historic, reliable relationships with? Whatever they decide, operators are looking for vendors who can provide them with options for solutions that are dynamic and more often that not cloud centric.

“Open RAN remains at an early stage of development and, given the time needed to evolve into a more integrated ecosystem of solutions, will probably play no more than a supporting role in global 5G deployments,” Mann.

The effect on recruitment

David Taylor, Managing Director of First Point Group, has seen how the telecommunications industry has changed over the last 20 years and how recruitment has been affected. “In the past 18 months we have been incredibly busy with 5G network rollouts based on major OEM equipment. However, we are also seeing a sharp rise in Open & Virtualized networks demands and an increase for Software and R&D engineers across this space. This is a trend that we expect to continue and gain further pace.”

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