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Asia Open RAN Academy
October 28 @ 9:00 am - November 30 @ 10:00 am EDT
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Welcome to the The Asia Open RAN Academy’s, “the Academy,” landing page. The Academy is an activity funded by USAID that supports the U.S. Government’s Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS). The Academy is an alliance of academic, government, and industry stakeholders in the Philippines and the broader Indo-Pacific region that share a common objective to advance an open, interoperable, reliable, and secure Internet and vibrant digital ecosystem through increased cooperation, competition, and choice. The Academy seeks to accelerate the adoption of open RAN approaches by developing and promoting an open RAN curriculum and technical exchanges in the Indo-Pacific region to provide mobile network operators (MNOs) and internet service providers (ISPs) with the skilled workforce needed to test and deploy open network architectures. The curriculum, with both foundational and technical courses, is detailed below.
OPEN RAN Courses
- 401 Introduction to Open RAN
- 402 Deep Dive into O-RAN Architecture
- 403 RAN Intelligent Controller
- 504 Interoperability
- 505 Open RAN Value Chain and Vendor Landscape
- 506 Security
- 507 O-RAN Use Cases
- 508 Policy and Regulation Considerations*
- 509 Management of Open RAN*
- 411 Radio Access Network
- 412 Open Flow, Software Defined Networks (SDN), and Network Function Virtualization (NFV)
- 413 Cloud Computing
- 414 Edge Computing
- 415 5G Mobile Networks: A System Approach
- 416 Artificial Intelligence
*To be created Oct-Dec 2022
Pre – Co-Requisite: General Background in Mobile Networks such as NR.
Course Materials: The content of this course is based on course notes, e-books, white papers, and videos uploaded or linked to the LMS.
LMS Course Website: Resources for this course are also available in the LMS. Learners must access the LMS for class notes, videos, links, and other course-related materials.
Time Commitment: 2 hours of Synchronous Classes (Live Remote or Live In-Person) and 8 hours of Asynchronous Online courses.
Online Activities to be used for formative and summative assessment will include the following:
- Read the assigned materials, complete a short activity related to the content, and reflect on it.
Pre-Recorded Videos or Links to Videos:
- Pre-recorded lectures/narrated PowerPoint slides or links to videos from various sources will be posted based on a schedule to cover the modules for that course. Learners are encouraged to actively watch the videos and take notes as they usually would in class, then reflect on its content or complete a short activity related to the video content.
- Each video will be about 15-30 minutes (may be shorter or longer, as the case may be).
- In addition, learners will get to watch (and re-watch) these videos in their own time.
- Each week, learners must participate and respond to a series of online discussions posted. In addition, they are expected to provide thoughtful, well-articulated responses to each of the discussion questions to keep conversations ongoing throughout the week. Please note that participation in online discussions is required and graded.
- After each course module in the LMS, there will be a practice quiz online. In addition, after completing each module’s pre-class readings and videos, learners must complete the practice quiz for that week (5-10 questions, multiple-choice).
- There are two online exams, a pre-test, and a post-test. Online exams will be administered on the LMS. Learners will be given an adequate amount of time on the exam day to access the exam, but once they begin, exams are timed and need to be completed within two hours.
Individual and Collaborative Project:
- Learners will have an assigned project to work on throughout the semester to connect their learning to professional practice. They will be expected to work independently through each project milestone and submit the required deliverable on the due dates assigned. Learners will be provided feedback as a guide through the project development process. See example: Milestone 1: Outline Milestone 2: First draft. Milestone 3: Second draft with revisions Milestone 4: Project presentation and submission
General Course Polices: Note to Faculty and Learners – Please refer to the guidelines of the university where you are registered.
Course Details (attached PowerPoint provides additional detail)
401 Introduction to Open RAN: This course covers the key principles of Open RAN (O-RAN). It discusses the development of mobile communications in different generations and the various RAN groups, such as distributed (D-RAN), cloud (C-RAN), virtual (v-RAN), and Open RAN. A discussion of the different equipment from traditional vendors such as the remote radio unit (RRU), interface, and baseband unit (BBU) will be provided. Then continue to discuss various benefits and risks of using an O-RAN system. The O-RAN Alliance is the focal point for Open RAN standardization, with partnerships with other organizations like TIP (Telecom Infra Project) and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) being highlighted. It will bring together various Open RAN groups, initiatives, participants, and ecosystems. The course will cover a variety of O-RAN developments from throughout the world, as well as other industry initiatives.
402 Deep Dive into O-RAN Architecture: This course covers the overall O-RAN architecture and relevant specifications. A discussion of the architecture evolution of radio access networks (RAN) that started due to the disaggregation of hardware and software components is included. Open RAN considers not only open remote radio unit (RRU) and baseband unit (BBU) but also open interfaces. This course also expounds on the four main functional components in Open RAN: distributed unit (DU), centralized unit (CU), near-real-time RAN Intelligent controller (RIC), and service management orchestration (SMO) with non-real-time RIC.
403 RAN Intelligent Controller: This course covers the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), ORAN interfaces, and functional splits. The topics also include RAN control loops, non-real-time RIC architecture, and near-real-time RIC architecture, as well as xApps and rApps. Functional split options define how the functions of the control and distributed units are divided. This course is best taken after completing the “Deep Dive into O-RAN Architecture” course.
504 Interoperability: Implementing Open RAN is one thing but making it interoperable is another. To make the ecosystem fully functional, making Open RAN interoperable is necessary. In this course, we will learn about the pre-requisites in making Open RAN interoperable. We will also tackle the different open standards in making interoperability possible. And just like any technologies being implemented, we will also look into the challenges in making Open RAN fully functional and interoperable.
505 Open RAN Value Chain and Vendor Landscape: As a result of change from closed propriety solutions to Open RAN, a shift in network architecture paradigm happens. With this, innovation is inevitable for a large and varied number of future use cases. By looking into different Open RAN value chain categories, we can further understand how the increase in demand for Open RAN technologies can aid the vendor landscape and future of RAN. Vendors that already carry Open RAN technologies will also be discussed to give us a better idea on how far we are into the adoption of Open RAN.
506 Security: Open RAN is designed with security in mind. While it is still in its early stages, we need to understand its current state and direction. Discussions include risk assessments, threat modeling, and challenges which will affect Open RAN components and interfaces’ security. Recommended best practices and frameworks such as NIST CSF, CIS Critical Security Controls, among others, are introduced which helps assess and implement controls to further secure Open RAN deployments.
507 O-RAN Use Cases: This course covers the O-RAN Alliance’s several use cases and phases. The O-RAN Technical Priority Document, which contains a list of prioritized technical requirements, will be discussed. O-RAN key use cases for Phase I will be highlighted, including traffic steering, QoS optimization, QoS-based resource optimization, and Massive MIMO optimization. O-RAN key use cases for Phase II will be covered, including RAN Slice SLA Assurance, Context-based Dynamic Handover Management for V2X, Flight Path-Based Dynamic UAV Resource Allocation, and Virtual RAN Network. Industry players will be invited to discuss their use cases, whenever possible.
This webpage is made possible by the support of the American People through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents of this webpage are the sole responsibility of International Development Group LLC and do not necessarily reflect the views of USAID or the United States Government.