When a cell phone or other mobile device connects to the nearest cell tower, the communication takes place over something called a RAN — a radio access network. From the cell tower, the signal is then routed to a fiber or wireless backhaul connection to the core network. RANs
RANs are proprietary to each equipment manufacturer. Open RAN, on the other hand, allows for interoperability that allows service providers to use non-proprietary subcomponents from a choice of vendors. That adds complexity to the network and changes the risk landscape for wireless communications.
What is RAN and Open RAN?
With 4G, the RAN signal was based for the first time on the Internet Protocol (IP). Previously, it used circuit-based networks, where phone calls and text messages traveled on dedicated circuits. RAN has also evolved to support video and audio streaming, and more types of devices, including vehicles and drones.