IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference
25-28 May 2020 // Virtual Conference
Beyond Connectivity: What Comes After 5G

WS-01: Open-RAN: Open Road to Next Generation Mobile Networks

WS-01: Open-RAN: Open Road to Next Generation Mobile Networks

Welcome to IEEE NexGenRAN 2020!

NextGenRAN is an international workshop event that highlights new trends and findings in hot topics related to Next Generation Radio Access Networks (RAN). This first edition will be held in conjunction with IEEE Wireless Communications and Networking Conference (WCNC), on 6th-9th April 2020, in the soul of Asia, Seoul, South Korea on the theme OPEN-RAN: Open Road to Next Generation Mobile Networks.

With the acceleration of 5G commercialization and 6G research picking up across the globe, various mobile operators and service providers are moving towards disaggregated and open reference architecture that utilizes open components with standard APIs from a multi-vendor ecosystem. By leveraging Software Defined Network (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV), mobile operators and service providers have successfully designed competitive and open core networks. RAN has evolved a lot with the advent of Virtual Radio Access Network (vRAN) and Cloud Radio Access Network (CRAN) but the proprietary implementation of these cost-effective options did not provide enough research opportunities. This lead to the emergence of Open RAN which considers building up of standard open interfaces that help mobile operators and service providers to avail Base Band Unit (BBU) and Remote Radio Unit (RRU) hardware from various vendors to deploy multi-vendor networks (multi-vendor interoperability). Additionally, Open RAN also aims at automating mobile networks and build intelligent SDN. It also makes network programmable and autonomous to cope up with the growth in ML, AI, automation and low latency applications. Open RAN helps in enabling the flexibility and robustness in advanced 5G and beyond networks with the use of a standard open interface, which are used to communicate with other network components as well which is a key for the inheritance of cloud-scale economies in RANs. While saving on CAPEX and Operating Expenses (OPEX), Open RAN also offers a space for creating a wide range of RAN applications that will make RAN open and intelligent than ever before. Besides standardization of open fronthaul, Open RAN has several more key open research areas, to name a few:

  1. Overall architecture and use cases
  2. RAN Intelligence Controller and applications
  3. Virtualization and cloudification enhancements

Thus, Open RAN can be perceived as power for unlocking advanced 5G and 6G networks by investing and researching on open networks and open standards to explore the interoperable multi-vendor business model. Open RAN brings in the opportunity to combine advancements in open mobile networks, spectrum availability, and intelligent network applications to stimulate rapid innovation in delivering profitable business for mobile network operators and service providers across the globe.

Highlights of the Workshop:

1. Three sessions will be conducted to discuss cutting edge research work on Open-RAN for 5G/6G Networks.

2. Rotating-Panel Discussions will be held on the technical dimensions of Open-RAN engagement & research opportunities: This will be an energetic talk will be followed by a group discussion about the technical implications of Open-RAN. A rotating panel format will provide all workshop participants with opportunities to ask and answer questions of the presenter and each other. Organizers will pose initial questions to seed discussion, and the panel configuration will start with 4 panelists who will share their views on Open-RAN and related research opportunities for industries and academia. As the discussion progresses, panelists will invite others from the audience to speak, sharing the spotlight and providing opportunities to hear new voices. Involvement from all attendees will be strongly encouraged but not required. The goals of this session are to actively involve everyone and articulate the challenges and opportunities in this domain.

3. Three Keynote Guest Lectures to highlight the growing trends and research opportunities in Open-RAN and RAN intelligence.

4. Outstanding research will be awarded the "Best Paper Award".

Important Dates:

Paper Submission: 31 Dec 2019

Decision Notification: 31 Jan 2020

Camera Ready Submission: 15 Feb 2020

Workshop date: 06 April 2020