O-RAN IP Submitting Tendencies: Constructing a Sooner Web


O-RAN, brief for Open Radio Entry Community, is an idea specializing in the standardization and interoperability of RAN elements, together with a unified connectivity normal for white-box {hardware} and open-source software program from numerous distributors. It fulfills the low latency and high-reliability necessities of 5G purposes, making it best for deployment on the community edge. A number of firms from everywhere in the world are innovating within the area to benefit from the numerous alternatives accessible right here. O-RAN IP submitting developments additionally point out an increase in innovation within the subject and its widening utility.

This text discusses O-RAN, its market, improvements within the area in addition to O-RAN IP submitting developments.

Desk of Contents

What’s O-RAN?

Earlier than diving into O-RAN, it’s important to first perceive what RAN is. Radio Entry Community, also referred to as conventional RAN, is especially used for cellular networks containing base stations. It helps cellular gadgets connect with the core community through radio entry applied sciences, akin to 4G and 5G. Conventional RAN is mostly topic to just one vendor taking management of all of the entities concerned.

Determine 1: The Structure of RAN or Conventional Radio Entry Community (Supply

Nonetheless, O-RAN is sort of totally different from its previous model and embodies the concept of standardization. The O-RAN structure and specs are constructed on widespread requirements and concentrate on alignment with different trade our bodies to make sure compatibility. The trade our bodies embody 3GPP, GSMA, the Telecom Infra Challenge, ETSI, and so on.

In Open-RAN, the RAN features are divided and will be carried out by totally different distributors. These features are categorized into O-CU (Central Unit), O-DU (Distributed Unit), O-RU (Distant Unit), and RIC (Radio Clever Controller). In a typical RAN structure, the management aircraft processing is separated from the person aircraft processing. Related is the state of affairs in Open-RAN.

Determine 2 (under) exhibits the break up of features within the decrease layer, i.e., inside the bodily layer, the place some decrease layer features are carried out within the O-RU and the others within the O-DU. These entities in O-RAN are known as E2 nodes/logical nodes.

Determine 2: Completely different Logical Nodes within the O-RAN System (Supply)

Right here, the O-DU is answerable for internet hosting RLC, and MAC – the upper bodily layer – based mostly on a decrease layer useful break up. The O-RU is a logical node that hosts the decrease bodily layer, and the RF processing, based mostly on the decrease layer useful break up. The O-CU is the node internet hosting the RRC, SDAP, and PDCP protocols. The O-CU-UP is a logical node that hosts the user-plane a part of the PDCP protocol and the SDAP protocol, and the O-CU-CP is the logical node that hosts the RRC and the control-plane a part of the PDCP protocol.

Primary Constructing Blocks of O-RAN

Determine 3 (under) exhibits all the primary constructing blocks of the O-RAN system. Above all of the logical nodes talked about earlier is the Radio Clever Controller (RIC), which is split into two components:

  • Close to-Actual-Time RIC
  • Non-Actual-Time RIC

The upper layer – Non-Actual-Time RIC – acts as a self-organizing community perform, and offers with automation (ML/AI), policy-based steerage of the options in Close to-Actual-Time RIC and RAN parts, and assets optimization. The Close to-Actual-Time RIC handles features like mobility administration, visitors steering, interference administration, spectrum administration, and so forth. The O-DU (within the MAC area) handles the opposite real-time radio useful resource administration features.

Determine 3: Primary Constructing Blocks of O-RAN (Supply)

Inside the Close to-Actual-Time RIC, there are X-apps, a set of purposes. These purposes could also be supplied by third-party or totally different distributors; monitoring particular features, akin to interference administration, mobility administration, and so on. Then there’s the SMO, the Service Administration and Orchestration Framework answerable for controlling the layers under. It could actually assist the Non-Actual-Time RIC to take care of the Close to-Actual-Time RICF.

The O-Cloud on this system is the cloud computing platform of the O-RAN structure. It consists of the nodes that may host the ORAN features (i.e., the purple, orange, and blue nodes and the RICs in Determine 3). This entity may help in automated deployment, scaling, and higher optimization.

The O-RAN Alliance

The O-RAN alliance was established in 2018 by AT&T, China Cellular, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO, and Orange to construct RAN options based mostly on general-purpose vendor-neutral {hardware} and software-defined know-how. It’s a neighborhood of cellular operators, distributors, and analysis & tutorial establishments working within the Radio Entry Community trade.

Common Market Analysis

Current market studies point out Alium, a patent pool for licensing within the Open-RAN infrastructure space. MPEG LA and Unified Patents collectively shaped it to assist patent homeowners license patents essential to make a radio unit within the O-RAN area. A complete of 11 patent homeowners have joined Alium’s Open RAN licensing group. The listing consists of Acer, AT&T Mental Property, CableLabs, Comcast, Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1, Koninklijke Philips, Meta, Mitsubishi Electrical, Pantech, SK Telecom, and Verizon Patent and Licensing. Extra firms are anticipated to affix the pool sooner or later.

Ericsson, Nokia, and Huawei, together with different important gamers like Intel and Qualcomm, have joined the O-RAN area. Within the Asia-Pacific area, firms akin to Reliance Jio in India are constructing their 5G community based mostly on the Open RAN know-how. Some firms that could possibly be a part of the Jio 5G ecosystem embody SignalChip, Saankhya Labs, Tejas Networks, Sterlite Applied sciences, and VVDN Applied sciences. Rakuten lately launched 4G and 5G business companies based mostly on Open-RAN structure in Japan, utilizing a number of vendor radios. The important thing distributors right here embody Altiostar, Cisco, Nokia, Intel, Qualcomm, Mavenir, Tech Mahindra, Viavi, Airspan, and so forth. On the opposite facet, Vodafone is partnering with greater than 20 chip distributors to advance the Open-RAN processors’ growth at its European R&D middle in Spain. Intel, Qualcomm, Broadcom, ARM, and Lime are amongst Vodafone’s numerous companions on this venture.

IP Submitting Tendencies in O-RAN

To grasp the mental property side of this know-how, Sagacious IP carried out an in depth examine of the businesses which have invested in O-RAN patent filings. Because the O-RAN Alliance was based in 2018, we’ve got tried to seize patent/IP submitting developments since then. In fact, there could be patents accessible earlier than 2018 that may help the O-RAN know-how. Nonetheless, an immensely intensive examine could be required to guage all these patent prospects and the next IP submitting developments. Right here, we’ve got centered on solely these patents that could possibly be related to the O-RAN area with the precedence 12 months 2018 or later.

Determine 4 exhibits the variety of patent households based mostly on priority-year-wise distribution. As will be seen, the variety of patent filings within the O-RAN area has elevated since 2019. Furthermore, the info for the years 2020, 2021, and 2022 wouldn’t be very correct because it takes about 18 months usually for a patent utility to be printed within the public area. Determine 5 exhibits the variety of granted and pending patent purposes with the precedence 12 months 2018 or later.

Determine 4: Variety of Patent Households in O-RAN House from 2018 to 2022

Determine 5: Variety of granted and pending patents within the O-RAN area

The under bar exhibits assignee-based submitting (high 12) of patent households within the O-RAN area. Samsung, Ericsson, Intel, Qualcomm, Nokia, and Huawei dominate these IP submitting developments with the precedence 12 months 2018 or later.

Determine 6: Prime 12 Assignees for Patent Submitting within the O-RAN House

The determine under exhibits jurisdiction-based submitting (high 11) of patents within the O-RAN area. The US, China, Europe, India, Korea, and WIPO dominate the submitting for O-RAN patents with the precedence 12 months 2018 or later.

Determine 7: Prime 11 Jurisdictions for O-RAN Patent Filings (Supply: Secondary Analysis and Indicative Patent Evaluation)


The O-RAN sphere appears to be rising exponentially because of its flexibility to offer interoperability between distributors. With firms akin to Nokia, Samsung, and Ericsson, together with numerous operators akin to Orange, AT&T, and Vodafone adopting the know-how, it has turn into important deployment within the evolving telecom world. Additional, a really vibrant scope will be seen within the path of standard-essential patent implementation by numerous operators or distributors supporting or engaged on this know-how.



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