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xRAN Forum Merges With C-RAN Alliance to Form ORAN Alliance


The xRAN Forum today announced its intent to merge with the C-RAN Alliance to form a world-wide, carrier-led effort to drive new levels of openness in the radio access network of next-generation wireless systems. The work of the ORAN Alliance will combine and extend the work of both the C-RAN Alliance and the xRAN Forum, while maintaining the key objectives of each group.

“xRAN Forum members have made excellent progress this year and we expect completion of the first open, interoperable front haul specification in March,” said Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor at Stanford University and Director of the xRAN Forum. “We are advancing both a southbound interface specification to an open RAN and a northbound interface specification, delivering applications access to rich controller functions and abstracted RAN control. Going forward, we believe there will be strong, complimentary collaboration with our new colleagues from the C-RAN Alliance.”

The xRAN Forum, founded in June of 2016 by AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, SK Telecom and Dr. Sachin Katti, Professor at Stanford University to promote a software-based, extensible Radio Access Network (xRAN) and to standardizing critical elements of the xRAN architecture.

Since its founding the xRAN Forum has gained tremendous industry momentum with leadership from operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, NTT/DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telstra and Verizon. At the same time, xRAN has grown its contributing member base with strong representation from the vendor community including: AltioStar, Amdocs, Aricent, ASOCS, Blue Danube, Ciena, Cisco, Commscope, Fujitsu, Intel, Mavenir, NEC, Netsia, Nokia, Radisys, Samsung, Stanford University, Texas Instruments and University of Sydney.

“The xRAN Forum was created to accelerate the delivery of products that support a common, open architecture and standardized interfaces that we, as operators, view as the foundation of our next-generation wireless infrastructure,” said Alex Jinsung Choi, SVP Research & Technology Innovation, Deutsche Telekom. “xRAN members have made strong progress this year, and we are confident that by building on the xRAN architecture in combination with the RAN virtualization focus brought by the C-RAN Alliance, we are well positioned to achieve the joint objectives of the ORAN Alliance.”

"Our industry is approaching an inflection point, where increasing infrastructure virtualization will combine with embedded intelligence to deliver more agile services and advanced capabilities to our customers. The xRAN Forum has been at the forefront of defining the next generation RAN architecture for this transformation," said Andre Fuetsch, CTO and President AT&T Labs. "This is a global change that will impact all network operators. It will be accelerated by the merger of the xRAN Forum and the C-RAN Alliance into the ORAN Alliance, which promises to be a strong global forum."

About xRAN Forum

The xRAN Forum was formed to develop, standardize and promote an open alternative to the traditionally closed, hardware-based RAN architecture. xRAN fundamentally advances RAN architecture in three areas – decouples the RAN control plane from the user plane, builds a modular eNB software stack that operates on common-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and publishes open north- and south-bound interfaces to the industry. For more information about xRAN Forum membership go to or email For more information on xRAN architecture, download the xRAN Architecture white paper. To schedule a briefing with xRAN member representatives at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, please contact

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