The course of sanctions against the telecommunications equipment supplier Huawei certainly has its problems: there are very few alternative providers. The US government now wants to invest billions to change that.
The US federal government plans to invest $1.5 billion to promote a standards-based alternative at the core of modern cellular networks, reports US magazine Axios. The Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) project in particular will probably benefit from this. This wants to build the necessary hardware based on conventional computing components that are easy to obtain on the world market.
It is currently only possible for network operators to a limited extent to equip their critical infrastructure exclusively with systems that come from US manufacturers. And this is exactly what is actually aimed at for security reasons. Last but not least, the massive pressure of competition from China meant that Western providers sought their salvation in a comprehensive concentration and today only the European groups Nokia and Ericsson can actually deliver on a larger scale.
ORAN is now at a level of development that makes it possible to use it in commercial networks. At the moment, however, it is mainly providers who are already building completely new infrastructures who are turning to the open platform. On the other hand, ORAN still plays a subordinate role among the established infrastructures.
However, that could change with the involvement of the US government. The funding is to be financed using the same mechanisms that are already being used in Washington to support the expansion of the domestic chip industry and the establishment of battery producers. There is now a hearing phase in the matter running until January, which is used for more concrete practical planning. The first funds will flow by August.
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