Press Releases

February 28, 2023

DOCOMO to Develop RAN Intelligent Controller Enabling Multivendor Interoperability for Open Radio Access Networks
— Will help to improve network quality and reduce operational costs —

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TOKYO, JAPAN, February 28, 2023 --- NTT DOCOMO, INC. announced today that it has begun researching and developing a RAN intelligent controller (RIC) that enables multivendor interoperability for open radio-access networks (Open RAN). The RIC, a software-defined framework that automatically controls and optimizes RAN functions together with various types of RIC application software, will serve a vital role in Open RAN by interconnecting with multivendor base station equipment for improved network quality and efficiency as well as reduced operational costs.

In line with RIC standard specifications being studied by the O-RAN ALLIANCE, a worldwide community promoting the adoption and spread of Open RAN in the current 5G era, DOCOMO will verify different types of RIC application software by different vendors with the aim of realizing optimization and control of multivendor base-station operating parameters. Verifications are expected eventually to demonstrate how the RIC can enhance the communication quality and customer experiences, as well as reduce operational cost, which is essential for promoting flexible and scalable Open RAN comprising multivendor equipment.

DOCOMO will also demonstrate how its envisioned RIC can intelligently optimize effective use of radio frequency through new RIC application software that controls antenna beams when signals are transmitted from base stations.

Scope of DOCOMO's R&D initiative
Scope of DOCOMO's R&D initiative

Going forward, DOCOMO will pursue the early implementation of RIC and other intelligent technologies in order to promote the global adoption of Open RAN.

This initiative is part of the Beyond 5G R&D Promotion Project*1 sponsored by the New windowNational Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT).


Overview of DOCOMO's R&D Initiative Targeting RAN Intelligent Controller

1. Summary

Research and development of a RAN intelligent controller (RIC) that enables effective and efficient multivendor interoperability in an open RAN.

2. Details
  1. Research and develop RIC applications for multivendor interoperability
    Evaluate RIC application software of various vendors in compliance with O-RAN ALLIANCE standard specifications, and establish technologies and evaluation methods to control mobile base stations of multiple vendors.
  2. Research and develop RIC applications that minimize signal interference by using antenna beam control technology for the most effective use of frequencies
    Develop application software for non-real-time RIC (1 second or longer processing time) and near-real-time RIC (10 ms to 1 second processing time), both compliant with O-RAN ALLIANCE standard specifications, to enhance frequency use compared to open RANs without RIC.
3. Duration

From February 2023 to March 2026

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