xRAN Forum releases Open Fronthaul Interface Specification

The xRAN Forum (xRAN) has announced the Board´s approval and public availability of the xRAN Fronthaul Specification Version 1.0 — the first specification made publicly available from xRAN since its launch in October 2016, the company said.

The specification has been designed to allow a wide range of vendors to develop innovative, best-of-breed RRUs and BBUs for a wide range of deployment scenarios, which can be easily integrated with virtualized infrastructure & management systems using standardized data models.

The new specification delivers on important operator member requirements. All xRAN operator members extend well deserved credit and gratitude to the xRAN members who made contributions and facilitated strong collaboration within the xRAN Forum Front Haul Working Group, chaired by Verizon Communication.

The xRAN Forum fosters a growing ecosystem of innovative and interoperable RAN products catering to the varied needs of the Forum´s operator members. Interfaces defined by the xRAN Fronthaul Specification enable efficient deployment of advanced technologies like Massive MIMO & Virtualized RAN with support for LTE and NR.

The xRAN Forum was formed to develop, standardize and promote an open alternative to the traditionally closed, hardware-based RAN architecture. xRAN fundamentally advances RAN architecture in three areas — decouples the RAN control plane from the user plane, builds a modular eNB software stack that operates on common-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and publishes open north- and south-bound interfaces to the industry.

Since its founding the xRAN Forum has gained tremendous industry momentum with leadership from operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telstra and Verizon. At the same time, xRAN has grown its contributing member base with strong representation from the vendor community including: AltioStar, Amdocs, Aricent, ASOCS, Blue Danube, Ciena, Cisco, Commscope, Fujitsu, Intel, Mavenir, NEC, Netsia, Nokia, Radisys, Samsung, Stanford University, Texas Instruments and University of Sydney.