What are the Open RAN Deployment Scenarios?

  • My friend: Hi Ibrahim, I have a question for you.

    • Me: Please, go ahead.
  • My friend: I was wondering which scenarios are used for O-RAN deployment?

    • Me: O-RAN Alliance proposed different scenarios for open RAN deployment. So, for example scenario A uses O-CU, O-DU, and near-RT RIC as virtualized functions on the same O-Cloud platform located at the Edge Cloud near the site, while O-RU is located at the cell site as a physical network entity. Moreover, scenario B is using O-CU and O-DU as virtualized functions on the O-Cloud platform located at the Edge Cloud, while near-RT RIC is virtualized over the O-Cloud platform as well but located at the Regional Cloud far from the site and O-RU is still located at the cell site as a physical network entity. And you can see different scenarios as well such as scenario C, D, E, and F as per the below figure.
  • My friend: But why in scenario D, the O-DU is not virtualized?

    • Me: Yes, that’s true. Scenario D is using O-DU as a physical network function without virtualization, but you should note that O-RAN Alliance is mentioning all possible scenarios that can be used and adopted by all vendors and scenario D will be used based on the business decision of how the O-RAN physical network function based solution is compared with the O-RAN compliant O-Cloud solution specially during implementation.
  • My friend: Then, what about scenario E and F?

    • Me: Actually, scenario E and F are using O-RU as virtualized function over the O-Cloud platform located in the cell site, but this is for future scenarios and is not a part of the current focus.
  • My friend: So, should all vendors support all deployment scenarios?

    • Me: Not necessarily, as vendors are not required to support all scenarios, it is a business decision to be made by each vendor. Similarly, each operator will decide which scenarios it wishes to deploy as per his network requirements.
  • My friend: Thank you so much. You made it very clear.

    • Me: You are most welcome.

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