The Small Cell Forum made a splash last week with its launch of four new 5G FAPI specifications that will not only be used for small cells, but also support macro cell deployments. This development reinforces the impact that FAPI will have on enabling Open RAN implementations globally.
SCF standards are enabling faster time to market for Open RAN solutions, with many small cell and DU products already adopting the broader FAPI suite. The nFAPI (network FAPI) interface is designed specifically to enable Open RAN, allowing service providers to mix distributed units (DUs) and central units (CUs) from different vendors to connect to any small cell radio unit.
The FAPI suite of specifications is becoming richer, more mature and closer in compliance to 3GPP releases. This is a result of all the technical diligence and active contributions from SCF member companies. As the work item leader of 5G nFAPI specifications, I could clearly see the passion and diligence of the participants from companies across the globe in ensuring the timely readiness and accuracy of the technical content. Having said that, we made a fervent appeal to all companies implementing the FAPI suite of specifications to provide us feedback on corrections and enhancements to improve the standards. The participation and contribution of member companies that implement these standards is very essential for the long term success of FAPI/nFAPI adoption in products getting deployed. It is this collaboration that will ultimately enable an ecosystem of open and disaggregated 5G components from multiple vendors.
At Radisys, we are already implementing the SCF FAPI specifications in our solutions. Our 5G small cell software leverages the SCF’s FAPI and nFAPI open interfaces to work seamlessly on our partners’ SoC-based small cell platforms. We’re excited about the progress being made within the standards organizations and in the market to advance Open RAN. We’ll continue to lead in industry working groups and we’ll continue to update our RAN protocol software stacks to power the leading 4G and 5G Open RAN vendor solutions in the industry.
My congratulations and thanks to the Small Cell Forum and all its members on this major achievement.