USA agency launches Asia Open RAN Academy in the Philippines

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The US Agency for International Development (USAID) launched the Asia Open RAN Academy in the Philippines to boost its expertise on 5G base stations in Southeast Asia, rivaling China’s growing influence.

The Asia Open Ran Academy is a joint effort between the USA and Japan to improve their expertise in open radio access networks (Open RAN), a new shift to mobile network architecture that enables operators to use equipment from multiple vendors and still delivers interoperability. As a result, it prevents single vendors from monopolizing communications networks while boosting security, lowering costs, and fostering innovation.

So far, global telecommunications giants such as Fujitsu, NEC, NTT DOCOMO, and Rakuten Symphony have expressed their support for Open RAN. Even mobile brands Huawei Technologies, Nokia and Ericsson dominate about 80% of the global base station market.

In the USA, US President Joe Biden has also expressed his commitment to expanding the academy program, stating that it will help lower costs by increasing supplier diversity and competition.

As a start, the academy will offer classes to Philippine students, specifically a university-level curriculum with courses about AI and Machine learning integration that helps them become job-ready in testing and deploying Open RAN networks.

“It is imperative that every nation’s telecommunications be secure, affordable, and accessible to all citizens, and collaborative institutions like the Asia Open RAN Academy will help us to achieve this goal,” said US Ambassador to Japan Rahm Emanuel.

source: Nikkei Asia