WASHINGTON — In comments submitted to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in response to its Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on Promoting the Deployment of 5G Open Radio Access Networks, global tech trade association ITI encouraged the agency to undertake its efforts to promote Open RAN through the lens of a continued whole-of-government approach to 5G and related innovation, and expressed support for the FCC’s goal of promoting a competitive wireless marketplace, though emphasized the importance of a technology-neutral approach.
“As a general matter, we support the goal of promoting a competitive wireless market for the Radio Access Network (RAN) based on open and interoperable interfaces as the network transitions to 5G, 6G, and beyond,” ITI wrote. “At the same time, we stress that the best way to maximize the benefits of new technologies is to promote a competitive marketplace and let market forces work. So, it is important that the FCC, and the USG more broadly, support a technology-neutral environment that promotes innovation, allowing the private sector to lead and the market to determine the ‘winners.’”
In the comments, ITI also urged the FCC to play an active role in improved research and development across the interagency in order to facilitate U.S. leadership in 5G and beyond, noting the importance of R&D efforts for fueling a lifecycle of investment and innovation in 5G and other next-generation technologies:
“As more consumers and businesses harness 5G, application developers are incentivized to create innovative new offerings,” ITI noted. “From there, these new applications and use cases drive demand for 5G-enabled devices and connections, thereby encouraging further investment in 5G infrastructure. Examples of R&D and pilot projects that could harness 5G built on open and interoperable infrastructure include innovations in energy monitoring on the power grid and smart network monitoring in commercial facilities that require a high degree of government regulation and security. To the extent that the FCC can play a role in facilitating pilot projects or testbeds in conjunction with other agencies, we believe this will be helpful to realizing the full potential of Open RAN. As the FCC engages stakeholders and other agencies, it should support making more funding available for test beds and pilot projects.”