Toward Modular and Flexible Open RAN Implementations in 6G Networks: Traffic Steering Use Case and O-RAN xApps

Sensors (Basel). 2021 Dec 7;21(24):8173. doi: 10.3390/s21248173.


The development of cellular wireless systems has entered the phase when 5G networks are being deployed and the foundations of 6G solutions are being identified. However, in parallel to this, another technological breakthrough is observed, as the concept of open radio access networks is coming into play. Together with advancing network virtualization and programmability, this may reshape the way the functionalities and services related to radio access are designed, leading to modular and flexible implementations. This paper overviews the idea of open radio access networks and presents ongoing O-RAN Alliance standardization activities in this context. The whole analysis is supported by a study of the traffic steering use case implemented in a modular way, following the open networking approach.

Keywords: 5G/6G; open RAN; traffic steering; xAPP development.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Communication Networks*
  • Technology
  • Wireless Technology*