2022 was a strong year for RAN innovation. Operators and vendors were busy exploring new ways to utilise software (AI and ML) to analyse and leverage data, across what has always been a hardware-centric and functional part of the network. Perhaps no surprise then that TIP’s RAN intelligence and automation (RIA) project group saw heavy engagement throughout the year, as companies looked to define new use cases and blueprints for OpenRAN deployments.
The TIP RIA group welcomed Orange, TIM, TEF and Airtel in 2022, alongside previous group members including Vodafone, T-Mobile and BT. The support of operator groups towards developing new use cases and applications for the RAN using the O-RAN RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller), is an exciting prospect for the industry. The RIC enables the development of rich use cases by third-party vendors using open APIs and interfaces, which could improve coverage, spectral efficiency, capacity, security and energy efficiency. Additionally, AI and ML insights can enable the network to be managed and optimized much more efficiently.
It wasn’t just major operators that got on board the RIA train, the vendors have too. TIP offers badges for TIP-qualified products and solutions based on defined use cases for the technology, typically defined by operators. TIP RIA now has a total of 16 use cases that have been submitted to TIP for release, including four new ones from Orange and Telefónica.
TIP has secured vendor commitments for 14 of the 16 RIA use cases, which, when complete, will reward these vendors with bronze badges, demonstrating product and solution maturity.
TIP has also established a lab presence for the TIP RIA group at Menlo Park (Meta, CL) and Adastral Park (BT TIP, CL). These locations support solutions including the O-RAN OSC RIC, VMWare RIC,, Accelleran RIC, and VIAVI RIC Test.
Kristian Toivo, Executive Director, TIP, said: “2022 was an incredible year for the TIP RIA group, with high levels of engagement from operators and vendors to create new use cases based on TIP badge requirements. In 2023, we think the industry will move from a definition phase to a demonstration phase, where we can show the world the true value and benefit that our ecosystem partners can offer the telecoms industry.”