The use of Open-RAN approaches can significantly change the industry. Until now, mobile standards relied on conventional closed ecosystems in mobile networks by connecting the radio access network (RAN) to the packet core. These are neither flexible nor dynamic due to vendor lock-in. The entirety of a mobile network is structured in such a way that base stations communicate via radio with smartphones, tablets, and laptops, as well as machines, using transmission technologies and mobile radio standards. However, these mobile networks are mostly based on rigid solutions that are dependent on only one manufacturer.
This vendor lock-in is a particular hindrance to continuous expansion and optimization options since the components in the closed mobile communications architecture are characterized by vendor-specific interfaces and functions. The integration of non-proprietary hardware or software components is not possible without further ado. Integrating a new mobile communications standard would require a major hardware replacement or rebuild.
The use of so-called Open-RAN architectures is the solution to this compatibility problem because Open-RAN separates the hardware from the software in a software-defined approach. The overlapping use of white-box hardware and software solutions from different suppliers is possible. Operators who choose mobile network elements with standard interfaces can avoid being stuck with one vendor’s proprietary hardware and software. Thus, the new Open RAN standards aim to open the boundaries of the mobile market and minimize the restrictions for users.
Considering the recent massive amount of activities going on regarding future Open RAN (O-RAN) communication systems, this special section is dedicated to bringing together contributions by industry experts, academic researchers, business practitioners, engineers, and individuals working on these emerging exciting research areas to share their new ideas, latest findings, identify and discuss potential use cases, open research problems, technical challenges, use cases, scenarios, solution methods in this context.
The goal of this special section is to solicit the recent research and developments related to Open RAN (O-RAN) networks with more focus on emerging technologies, techniques, methods, designs, and schemes that can enable the realization of a diverse set of applications with various requirements including ultra high speed, low latency, low complexity, high security, low cost, high power efficiency, and massive connectivity communication with a vision of their potential advancement into future wireless communication systems.
The submitted papers should be original, not published, or currently under review for publications in any other journal. Submitted Articles have no page limits and can be any of the following types: technical, tutorial, survey, magazine, letter, or commentary. Also, authors can submit multiple articles to the same issue.