The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has awarded $42 million to Verizon, AT&T, plus other operators, vendors, and developers for Open RAN development.

The award is the final one under the NTIA's Public Wireless Supply Chain Innovation Fund, a 10-year, $1.5 billion grant program designed to drive the development of Open RAN in mobile.

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This investment is funded by the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022, with investment arriving as part of the Biden-Harris Administration’s 'Investing in America' agenda, which aims to foster competition and strengthen supply chain resilience.

Open RAN aims to allow providers to ‘mix and match’ solutions from multiple vendors, which is impossible with proprietary network equipment.

“Spurring innovation and competition in wireless technologies is vital to US economic and national security,” said US Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo.

“This $42 million award marks $140 million in investments through the Wireless Innovation Fund, underscoring the impact of President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda in action. These grants are supporting facilities and advancing research that will unlock new opportunities for America to lead in the global telecommunications market, strengthen our supply chains, and drive down costs.”

NTIA notes that AT&T and Verizon will lead the ACCoRD (Acceleration of Compatibility and Commercialization for Open RAN Deployments) project, while Japanese telecommunications company NTT DOCOMO and India’s Reliance Jio are unfunded founding members of the consortium.

The suppliers for ACCoRD include Microsoft, Nokia, Radisys, Airspan, Ericsson, Fujitsu, Rakuten, Samsung, Mavenir, VMWare, RedHat, Wind River, Ciena, Cisco, Dell, Intel, Amdocs, Keysight, and Viavi.

The University of Texas at Dallas will assist in the maintenance of the Dallas-area center, while Virginia Tech, Northeastern University, Iowa State University, and Rutgers University will provide neutral laboratory support.

Last month Echostar subsidiary Dish Wireless was awarded a $50 million grant by the NTIA to establish the Open RAN Center for Integration & Deployment (ORCID).

The center, which will be based in Cheyenne, Wyoming, will enable the testing and validating of hardware and software solutions (RU, DU, and CU) against a complete commercial-grade Open RAN network deployed by Dish.