xHaul in the disaggregated RAN: open ecosystems need to align

12 October 2023 | Research

Caroline Gabriel

Strategy report | PPTX and PDF (10 slides) | Transport Network Strategies

"Open RAN risks delays if a unified approach to xHaul is not agreed to by the ecosystem."


A unified architecture for xHaul (fronthaul, midhaul and backhaul) is essential to the vision of multi-vendor Open RAN, but efforts so far have been fragmented. Standards bodies, operators and vendors must align their RAN and xHaul work and accelerate the development of key enablers such as the open disaggregated cell site gateway (DCSG).

Information included in this report

  • Unique insights into operators’ requirements for xHaul in an Open RAN environment, based on a new survey of 76  mobile network operators (MNOs)
  • An analysis of the commercial rewards of aligning industry efforts in Open RAN and xHaul
  • An outline of the evolving ecosystem supporting the DCSG and the pivotal role this technology will play in open end-to-end networks


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Caroline Gabriel

Research Director, expert in TMT network strategies