As Taiwan becomes the newest addition to TIP‘s Community Lab in Asia, this virtual panel at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2021 is co-organized by Industrial Development Bureau (IDB), MOEA and TIP with advocates for open and disaggregated connectivity technology, including Indosat Ooredoo, Wistron NeWeb Corporation, Pegatron Corporation, Edgecore Networks Corporation and Compal Electronics to discuss the current state of 5G Open Networking and how Taiwan’s ICT industry can contribute.
Taiwan’s vendors on current progress in Open RAN
Top-notch vendors in Taiwan are active in their respective Open RAN development. As CY Feng, GM of BU6 at Pegatron Corporation stated, “with the virtualization of software structure, it makes system white box feasible. There definitely will be traction.” It is also backed by Matt Roman, Vice President of Marketing and Product Management, Edgecore Networks Corporation that he is expecting “steep growth in open network solutions driven by trials and activities in the ecosystem, and another driver for this growth is fully validated solutions from the software ecosystem.”
Furthermore, Horen Chen, CTO of Wistron NeWeb Corporation shared the company has “developed RU, worked with other partners to enable DU, CU and intended to use open architecture in our private networks for manufacturing sites.” Aaron Chuang, Senior Director of Compal Electronics also shared that they’ve seen “clients asking for all-in-one or open fronthaul products for flexible and large-scale deployment.”
Interoperability and performance tests are key to accelerate time to market in Open RAN
As the first cellular operator in Indonesia that has conducted Open RAN field trials in Maluku region, Indonesia, Kees Van Peer, Senior Vice President, Head of Technology Strategy & Partnership of Indosat Ooredoo shared the positive results, and that “the reason for us to pursue this openness in networks is because we’d like to push more innovation and quality improvement coming from the technology ecosystem and also being adaptive to any new technology development which enable customer experience enhancement.”
While open RAN tackles the challenges of more complex and flexible 5G networks, as panelists have shared, one of the biggest inhibitors for acceptance and roll-out of open network technology is to prove that it is interoperable with multiple vendors. Furthermore, once all the components are integrated, vendors will have to find out if the end-to-end (E2E) performance can achieve parity with the traditional close proprietary system.
Taiwan as the newest addition to TIP’s Community Lab to contribute to the global community
As the home of the largest ICT suppliers in the world, Taiwan launched its first “5G Open Network Lab” in August 2020 with support from Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA). It is a platform where vendors can access an open networking environment for testing, in hopes to offer operators the confidence that tested products can be integrated without a large overhead.
Taiwan’s 5G Open Network Lab further expands to include more carrier-grade cores to support qualified 5G products to the global market by joining forces with TIP to become the newest addition as a Community Lab in Asia.
As David Hutton, Chief Engineer of Telecom Infra Project (TIP) said, “it’s important to have a local lab environment for all the technology suppliers to utilize and be recognized by the TIP community, which is why we’re very pleased to have ITRI [supported by Industrial Development Bureau, MOEA] being approved as a TIP community lab.”