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E&C GOP Leader Walden Talks 5G with Open RAN Policy Coalition


Washington, DC – Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Greg Walden (R-OR) this week joined the new Open RAN Policy Coalition over webinar to discuss the importance of ensuring American leadership in 5G, and how Open Radio Access Network (ORAN) technology could be vital for us to expand 5G infrastructure and stop supply chain threats from Chinese-owned Huawei and other suspect competitors.

E&C Republicans have been working to secure our communications networks and speed up the deployment of trusted 5G gear. In March 2020, President Trump signed into law the Secure and Trusted Communications Networks Act (P.L. 116-124) which aims to help small, rural providers rip and replace equipment from suspect companies like Huawei, and prohibits federal funds to be used for communications services that could pose a threat to our networks. This bipartisan bill was led in the House by E&C GOP Leader Walden, Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), and Reps. Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Doris Matsui (D-CA).

Additionally, in April 2020, these bipartisan E&C members introduced the bipartisan Utilizing Strategic Allied (USA) Telecommunications Act of 2020 (H.R. 6624) to promote and accelerate the deployment and use of open interfaced, standards-based, and interoperable 5G networks throughout the United States. This effort aims to create a more diverse, sustainable, and competitive supply chain for America’s 5G networks, and the bill passed out of the full committee last month.

Read more about the Open RAN Policy Coalition webinar in Broadband Breakfast, ZDNet, and MeriTalk below.


Broadband Breakfast

Open Radio Access Network Tech is a Pandemic Necessity, Says Open RAN Policy Coalition

By Elijah Labby

August 4, 2020

Open Radio Access Network technologies have a bright future and a diverse range of applications, said participants in an Open RAN Policy Coalition webinar Tuesday.

The webinar, titled “Open RAN 101: Promoting a Diverse and Competitive Market for 5G and Advanced Wireless Technologies,” saw participants discuss the broad variety of Open RAN applications.

Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., said that the technology will generally improve U.S. infrastructure.

“By investing in open, standards-based trusted equipment, the U.S. will be in a strong position to ensure that our networks are both secure and easily upgradeable,” he said.

Click HERE to read more.



Could ‘Open’ systems negate Huawei’s influence on 5G?

By Scott Fulton III

August 5, 2020

What O-RAN actually is, as much as it can be amid the current state of the telecommunications market, is the framework for a strategy. When “disruption” is a good thing, it’s a way to make room in a market for new competitors. The Radio Access Network is the part of a cellular communications system that enables a wireless device to join a network and participate, as the network maintains that device’s mobility and likelihood of transitioning between coverage areas, or “cells.” More simply put, it’s the front door. If the whole point of a wireless network is to maintain accessibility, and the optimal wireless network is one that follows a global standard, then you would think an open architecture for front doors would be a premier necessity.

When a strategy needs backing and support, it should become a cause. When that backing is being beckoned from a country’s government, it must become a cause célèbre.

“We must continue to deploy 5G networks as quickly as possible, in order for the United States to maintain its position as the global leader in wireless communications,” remarked Rep. Greg Walden (R – Ore.), the outgoing ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  “By offering nearly free equipment, Huawei and ZTE have made it difficult for trusted vendors to compete in the marketplace. As a result, upgrading equipment and software has become an unnecessarily expensive… process.”

Rep. Walden’s recorded comments came at the opening of a virtual panel conducted Tuesday by the Open RAN Policy Coalition. You may recall, ZDNet introduced you to this organization last May. It’s a group of major telecommunications stakeholders — most notably including 5G leaders Nokia and Ericsson — who advocate the type of interoperability and collaboration that O-RAN is working for, although there is a thick layer of abstraction between “O-RAN” and “Open RAN.” One is a technology; the other is a rallying cry.

Click HERE to read more.



Lawmakers, Nokia Back Open RAN

By Dwight Weingarten

August 4, 2020

The national security community of the United States has found itself in a conundrum in the last few years, warning other countries about the risks of the China-based company Huawei, but unable to provide an American alternative for 5G networks.

Two lawmakers backed Open Radio Access Networks (Open RAN) as a piece to solving that puzzle on Tuesday at event hosted by the Open RAN Policy Coalition.

“One doesn’t need to be a telecommunications expert to understand that moving away from closed proprietary solutions will create an opportunity for a new supply chain ecosystem to flourish,” said Rep. Doris Matsui, D-Calif., a co-chair of the Congressional High-Tech Caucus. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s ranking member, also prepared remarks in a video supporting Open RAN, which were used as a keynote prior to a panel that sought to explain what is meant by the phrase.

Click HERE to read more.

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