The increasing complexity of cellular networks has resulted in dynamic network performance optimization (NPO) playing a critical role in streamlining network operations. While the success of NPO techniques primarily depends upon the quality and quantity of telemetry data available from the underlying network, up until now, third-party access to such data has been largely limited due to the prevalence of proprietary interfaces throughout the access network. However, the upcoming open radio access network (RAN) architecture is set to change this trend.


As communications service providers ponder ways to cater to the diverse traffic requirements of mobile applications that range from the classic telephony to modern augmented reality (AR)-related use cases, the traditional quality of service (QoS)-based radio resource management (RRM) techniques for RAN slicing that are agnostic to the intrinsic workings of applications can result in a poor quality of experience (QoE) for the end-user. We argue that in addition to QoS, RAN slicing strategies should also consider QoE for efficient resource utilization.


The Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) Alliance's most recent innovations are propelling the evolution of RAN deployments, moving away from conventionally closed and specialized hardware implementations and toward virtualized instances running over shared platforms and distinguished by open interfaces. Such progressive decoupling of radio software components from the hardware is paving the road for future efficient and cost-effective RAN deployments. However, there are still a lot of open challenges before O-RAN networks can be successfully deployed.