Spotlight on Tech

Top 10 Benefits of Open RAN: A Comprehensive Breakdown

Geoff Hollingworth
Chief Marketing Officer
Rakuten Symphony
April 6, 2023
minute read

Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) is revolutionizing the mobile telecommunications industry. By enabling more flexible, cost-effective and innovative network solutions, it is becoming the agreed way forward and a game-changer for mobile network operators.

Rakuten defines Open RAN as one of three major software-based transformations, all of which enable one another. Cloud enables disaggregation of hardware and software, in parallel to Open RAN disaggregating software functions via open interfaces and automation enables software to run networks and augment people at scale. Each of the three increase the effectiveness of the others.

Given this, find below the top 10 reasons why adopting Open RAN changes the industry status quo and how adopting first can lead to competitive advantage.

1. Cost savings and enhanced resiliency

Open RAN architecture and technology reduces the cost of deploying and maintaining mobile networks by encouraging competition among vendors and simplifying network management. It eliminates the need for expensive proprietary hardware and allows operators to source components from multiple vendors. This diverse vendor ecosystem not only leads to cost savings but also enhances network resiliency. By incorporating equipment from various suppliers, operators can mitigate the risk of single-vendor dependency and better protect their networks against potential vulnerabilities or service disruptions.

2. Scalability through disaggregation and cloud-native operations

Open RAN enables network operators to easily scale their networks up or down through disaggregation and the separation of hardware and software supply chains. By leveraging cloud and cloud-native operations, operators can deploy flexible, modular network components that can be individually scaled as needed. This approach allows them to meet growing consumer demand without significant investment in new infrastructure. Cloud technologies enable elastic scaling, allowing network resources to be dynamically allocated or de-allocated based on real-time demand. This efficient resource management ensures optimal performance and reduces operational costs.

3. Interoperability

Open RAN promotes interoperability between different vendors' equipment, making it easier for network operators to mix and match components without being locked into a single vendor's ecosystem.

4. Faster Innovation

By opening the RAN to multiple vendors, Open RAN encourages rapid innovation and the development of new features and services. This allows network operators to stay ahead of the competition and offer cutting-edge solutions to their customers.

Simplified Network Management: Open RAN simplifies network management by providing a standardized interface for managing various network components, regardless of the vendor. This helps reduce the complexity of managing multi-vendor networks.

5. Industrialized network management and automation

Open RAN simplifies network management by providing a standardized interface for managing various network components, regardless of the vendor. This helps reduce the complexity of managing multi-vendor networks. These standard interfaces allow industrial scale automation across a whole network rather than managing vendor silos with different processes, teams and tools.

6. Enhanced security through cross-industry learning and open interfaces

Open RAN allows network operators to implement advanced security measures and respond to threats more effectively by adopting the same technologies and processes used in other industries. By learning from the advances made in these sectors, telecom operators can benefit from a wealth of experience in securing complex systems. Open RAN's open interfaces enable a system-level approach to security, providing increased visibility and control over the network. This allows operators to surface more data and gain a deeper understanding of what is happening within their networks, making it easier to identify potential vulnerabilities and respond to security incidents in a timely manner.

7. AI and data science for network understanding

Open RAN's open interfaces enable network operators to access and unify data from various network components, which was previously hidden within vendor-specific black boxes. This enhanced data availability empowers operators to leverage AI and data science techniques to analyze and gain a deeper understanding of their network's performance and behavior. As a result, network operators can take ownership of their own destinies by making informed decisions and optimizing their networks based on their unique requirements, rather than being limited by the specialized knowledge and capabilities of individual vendors.

8. Streamlined hardware supply chain with common platforms

Open RAN promotes the use of industrialized hardware supply chains, allowing different network functions to run on a common hardware platform with minimal variations. These platforms can be classified based on factors such as indoor versus outdoor deployment, and high performance versus standard performance. This approach significantly reduces the need for multiple specialized proprietary hardware variants, simplifying procurement, spare parts management, and inventory processes. Additionally, it decreases the reliance on specialist vendor knowledge, enabling network operators to manage and maintain their networks more efficiently and cost-effectively.

9. Energy efficiency through system-level optimization

Open RAN's visibility across all interfaces and access to unified data enable network operators to optimize energy usage at a system level, independent of individual vendor islands. This comprehensive view of the network allows operators to dynamically power up and down different radios and servers based on real-time demand. Additionally, it facilitates the dynamic movement of cloud-native software components, optimizing the number of active servers at any given time. By implementing these energy-efficient strategies, operators can significantly reduce their networks' power consumption, contributing to environmental sustainability while lowering operational costs.

10. Next-Generation job creation in telecom

Open RAN is modernizing the telecom industry by integrating the latest cloud and software technologies, making it an attractive sector for the next generation of talented professionals. The industry now offers exciting opportunities for individuals with diverse skill sets, such as data scientists, who can access some of the richest and largest datasets that represent entire countries and societies' activities. Open RAN's transformation of the telecom landscape not only fosters innovation and growth but also attracts the brightest minds who are passionate about making a significant impact on global sustainability and addressing pressing societal challenges at scale. By embracing Open RAN, the telecom industry empowers a new generation of professionals to contribute to the greater good while driving the future of telecommunications.


Open RAN is set to redefine the mobile telecommunications industry by delivering a multitude of benefits to network operators, including cost savings, enhanced resiliency, scalability through disaggregation, faster innovation, and improved security. By adopting cross-industry learnings, leveraging AI and data science, optimizing energy efficiency, and fostering next-generation job creation, Open RAN is transforming the telecom landscape and attracting the brightest minds in the field. By understanding the advantages of Open RAN, non-technical network operations professionals can better appreciate the impact it has on their organizations and the industry, while embracing a future that empowers sustainable, efficient, and innovative solutions in telecommunications.

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