Open RAN could deliver up to 30% TCO savings for operators with the right platform strategy and skill set

23 February 2022 | Research

Gorkem Yigit | Gilles Monniaux

Perspective | PDF (29 pages) | Cloud Infrastructure Strategies| Next-Generation Wireless Networks


"Open RAN can provide TCO savings for operators, but this is only possible if operators adopt an Open RAN platform that consists of the right technology stack and ecosystem, and they invest in the required skills."

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Open RAN has gained significant momentum over the last few years because operators want their 5G networks to be more flexible, cost-effective and automated than the traditional physical RAN.

Operators aim to achieve a wide range of commercial and operational goals by using disaggregated, cloud-native Open RAN technology for 5G.

Total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction is often the most desired objective for implementing Open RAN architecture, but at the same time the most debated one.

This highly disruptive technology is at an early stage and operators lack a clear idea and consensus on the impact that Open RAN will have on the TCO of the network.

To bring more clarity to the TCO debate and to provide guidance to the industry, Analysys Mason, in conjunction with Wind River, developed a realistic TCO model that analyses the short-term (3 years) and mid-term (6 years) capex and opex implications of deploying Open RAN technology compared to that of traditional RAN deployments.

In our TCO model, we analysed the brownfield deployment scenarios of traditional and Open RAN architecture options (distributed, vCU centralized and vDU/vCU pooling).

These scenarios were modelled for three different operator profiles including a Tier-1 operator in Western Europe, a medium-sized incumbent operator in a developed market and a Tier-1 operator in an emerging market.

This report discusses the key findings of this TCO analysis.

Open RAN could deliver up to 30% TCO savings for operators with the right platform strategy and skill set

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