AmpliTech Leads Charge with High-Performance 5G ORAN Solutions with American-Made Solutions

Apr 24, 2024

Telecommunication, together with infrastructure and military, forms the backbone of any country, as it supports vital functions essential for national stability and development. In May 2019, the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed restrictions on Chinese companies, citing national security concerns. The ban disrupted the telecommunications market as Huawei was a major player in supplying equipment and services. Also, the ban spurred efforts within the USA to accelerate the development of domestic alternatives to Huawei's technology, particularly in the 5G telecommunications sector. After the ban on Chinese companies in the USA, several American companies became more active in providing alternatives in the telecommunications sector. Unfortunately, at present, there is no American-based company exclusively equipped to offer 5G infrastructure. 

The majority of mobile network operators (MNOs) in the USA rely on non-American companies for their infrastructure requirements. In response to these challenges, the US government, via agencies like the FCC and NTIA, has provided substantial funding to OpenRAN companies. OpenRAN, short for Open Radio Access Network, is a concept designed to dismantle the components of conventional wireless networks, fostering greater flexibility, interoperability, and innovation through the use of open standards and interfaces. These agencies have strived to bolster OpenRAN development through various avenues, such as research grants, funding for pilot projects, and initiatives to encourage its adoption. Nonetheless, major mobile network operators (MNOs) predominantly favor traditional RAN providers located outside the USA. In response, they pressure these vendors to open their interfaces and promote interoperability with other providers, thereby demonstrating a semblance of adherence to OpenRAN principles. Initially resistant to such openness, these large traditional vendors are compelled to adhere to MNOs and US government directives. 

However, doubts persist about whether this truly embodies the essence of OpenRAN, particularly as MNOs continue to rely on traditional RAN vendors based outside the USA. One of the objectives of transitioning from Traditional RAN to OpenRAN is to establish a competitive market landscape, providing mobile network operators (MNOs) with numerous vendor options. This shift also involves engaging multiple smaller OpenRAN players to eliminate the monopoly of a single vendor, ultimately offering more cost-effective solutions. The challenge in advocating for OpenRAN or contrasting it with Traditional RAN stems from Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) being hesitant to involve multiple vendors in diagnosing problems or finding solutions. They find it easier to communicate with a single vendor, which then assumes responsibility for addressing issues throughout the entire infrastructure. However, engaging multiple vendors complicates the process of identifying and resolving issues, as it becomes unclear which vendor is linked to a specific problem. 

Moreover, MNOs rely on the proven track record of success demonstrated by traditional RAN infrastructure across diverse geographical locations. However, concerning OpenRAN, these traditional RAN vendors lack a history of significant deployment. In order to address these challenges and encourage the participation of new entities, the NTIA should mandate MNOs to incorporate multiple USA-based companies, initially within specified limits. Furthermore, the NTIA should allocate investments towards OpenRAN initiatives, facilitating comprehensive trials across diverse settings. These trials should prioritize technologies such as RIC-based network slicing, service management and orchestration, and distributed cloud and edge computing, emphasizing the promotion of open interfaces alongside common standards. The NTIA and other 5G infrastructure government agencies are taking steps to fund these OPEN RAN initiatives for flexibility and security, which are both essential for effective and expedited deployment across the United States. For that matter, this initiative is being adopted across the globe and provides an exceptional opportunity to showcase AmpliTech's extensive array of products for this rapidly evolving market sector.

AmpliTech Group, headquartered in the United States, is actively expanding into the OpenRAN market and is the only US-based company offering such advanced ORAN "true 5G" Massive MIMO and MIMO architecture solutions. Our core products include Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) and power amplifiers (PAs), and we operate our own MMIC design center. By developing LNAs with exceptionally low noise figures, we've established a competitive edge in the industry. Leveraging this expertise, we've seamlessly integrated our LNAs into our proprietary radio designs. Considering the restricted coverage range of 5G, particularly due to its higher frequency spectrum compared to previous generations (4G, 3G, and 2G), our LNAs with very low noise figures can significantly improve the performance and coverage capabilities of 5G networks. 

At AmpliTech Group, we offer various configurations of 5G OpenRAN Radios, with our flagship product being the 64T64R CAT-B configuration. In this setup, we implement pre-coding within the Radio Unit (RU) to mitigate front haul congestion. This differs from CAT-A radios, where each antenna must connect to the Distributed Unit (DU) via RF chains, often leading to fronthaul congestion. To compete effectively with traditional RAN and radio vendors based outside the USA, AmpliTech Group has developed radios with CAT-B 64T64R configurations. However, to maintain our competitive edge against Japanese or European radio companies, we continuously update our radios to support ULPI, CAT-A, and CAT-B configurations. At AmpliTech Group, our goal is to deliver the epitome of 5G speed (both upload and download, hence providing low latency), which many vendors, including traditional RAN and notably OpenRAN vendors, struggle to achieve. 

This genuine 5G velocity is imperative for Meta's AR/VR vision to materialize fully, as it hinges on the robust infrastructure of authentic 5G networks. Various pivotal technologies such as telemedicine, tele-robotics, IoT, as well as Tesla and Google's fully automated vehicles rely more profoundly on the architecture of "true 5G." Merely displaying a 5G icon on user equipment falls short of the comprehensive significance that genuine 5G architecture embodies. At AmpliTech Group, we are keenly aware of the growing demand for Private 5G networks. To address this need, we've developed a specialized infrastructure optimized for "true 5G" speed (>1Gbps at cellphone user end), tailored expressly for private network users. As a company based in the USA, we consider it our duty to serve the requirements of domestic private 5G companies through AmpliTech Group. Moreover, we've introduced the NIB (Network in a Box) solution, consolidating Core+vBBU and RU functionalities into a single unit, delivering a simplified and cost-efficient option with reduced complexity. 

Drawing upon our in-house design center, we have the ability to tailor radio components to precise specifications, accommodating the unique needs of both customers and vendors, whether concerning frequency/band, power, SCS, EIRP, and more. This cost-effective solution is particularly beneficial for countries where USTDA funding supports network upgrades or extends digital infrastructure to underserved rural areas. Simultaneously, as we upgrade our radios, we focus on successfully conducting Interoperability Testing (IOT) with our DU partners. In the realm of OpenRAN, achieving seamless interoperability requires extensive testing, including validation, conformance, and IOT tests. Having already completed Conformance and Validation testing, we are currently engaged in IOT testing with DU players to truly embody the principles of OpenRAN. 

At AmpliTech Group, we possess the capabilities to develop radios that not only rival but surpass existing traditional and non-USA-based radios. We also possess the capability to develop our own CU/DU, given support from the FCC or NTIA, to establish a fully end-to-end 5G infrastructure beneficial for any MNOs and the Department of Defense (DoD). At AmpliTech Group, we are planning to develop hardware-based bit-level security systems that are inherently un-hackable, as they do not rely on software-based security measures. Our intention is to integrate these anti-hackable chips within our radios to ensure encrypted communication. 

Having already devised our Private 5G end-to-end solution with support from another vendor's 5G Core (5GC), we aim to align with the true principles of OpenRAN. Furthermore, we are planning to develop a similar CU/DU software with RIC capabilities infrastructure, pending support from the NTIA or the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Concerning the Interoperability (IOT) challenge, various vendors present differing configurations, deployment types, and section extensions. While the O-RAN Alliance establishes standards akin to those of the 3GPP, the multitude of vendors and their individual developments render selecting a radio with any CU/DU, and vice versa, challenging until extensive IOT testing has been conducted among them. This difficulty also complicates MNOs' choices in selecting their preferred radio or CU/DU vendor. If an MNO opts for a CU/DU vendor and subsequently selects an RU vendor, and the CU/DU vendor has not conducted interoperability testing with that specific radio vendor or specific configurations of radios, the CU/DU vendor cannot adequately support those vendors. 

Once more, the solution lies in conducting extensive testing and development with numerous vendors, various radio configurations, and diverse PHY layers (Physical layers) L1. If the NTIA and FCC support certain USA-based companies in conducting extensive testing on their radio equipment, ensuring its capability to undergo IOT with multiple CU/DU vendors, and similarly, if we, as a USA-based company, develop our CU/DU capable of interoperating with various radios, then instead of inviting radio and CU/DU players from other countries, we, as a USA-based entity, could offer our infrastructure to other nations.


Contributed by

AmpliTech, Inc.

Country: United States
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