In an opinion piece published Thursday, he discussed the benefits of combining O-RAN and 5G networks to the Department of Defense and other federal agencies.
O-RAN enables cellular network equipment interoperability, which would improve communication among departments in the defense sector and provide more vendor options for government agencies.
The concept of fusing O-RAN and 5G received funding in 2021 from Congress, which authorized $1.5 billion under the National Defense Authorization Act for the development of a unified strategy for the technologies. Congress’ 10-year directive includes security innovation, network visualization, the establishment of multi-vendor ecosystem standards and acceleration of technology development.
DeMerse stressed that standards must be established sooner than the directive’s deadline amid the fast pace of technological evolution.
“5G comes with the benefits of mobile edge computing and being O-RAN compliant, meaning it is up to Federal standards. This could even be helpful in residential rural and remote environments, where internet and satellite access is limited,” he wrote.