“Open RAN: an opportunity for European digital and like-minded cooperation?”, Ugo Armanini (Elcano, Spain)

The concept of Open RAN is progressively acquiring greater visibility in the media and the public debate. The concept aims to achieve a more open architecture in the Radio Access Network (RAN), i.e., the segment which connects users and devices to the core part of the telecommunication network –roughly the radios and base stations–, thanks to interoperability between RAN components which would allow to choose between different RAN providers. Early critics have warned against its instrumentalization by US actors to access EU markets by selling individual components, enabling them to compete with leading EU suppliers of 5G complete systems, a prospect at odds with European strategic autonomy. They have also anticipated a certain lack of interest from the telecommunications sector.

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