Linux Foundation & National Spectrum Consortium to Collaborate on OpenRAN Architecture and Testing to Accelerate US Innovation

  • The two organizations commit to establishing an Open and Neutral Framework for Open RAN to kickstart academic, government, and commercial R&D by lowering barriers to entry
  • Linux Foundation to provide open & neutral governance support, while the NSC shares its working base of stakeholders across government, industry, and academia to further prototyping and R&D capabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. June 8, 2023 – The Linux Foundation, the nonprofit organization enabling mass innovation through open source, and the National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) which provides the United States government direct access to almost 400 members of U.S. industry and academia who work with systems, sub-systems, components and the enabling technologies related to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or the information that rides on it   announced formal collaboration to create opportunities to develop Open RAN software prototypes and demonstrations. The two organizations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to solidify their working relationship and commitment to minimizing barriers to further R&D necessary for OpenRAN acceleration within the United States. More open and flexible wireless networks ultimately increase vendor diversity and competition, prevent vendor lock-in, increase innovation in wireless networking technology, lower deployment and operational costs, and even increase security and energy efficiency.

“We are eager to work with the NSC in creating a stable, open, secure reference stack for Open RAN,” said Arpit Joshipura, general manager, Networking, Edge & IoT, the Linux Foundation. “By combining resources, we’ll accelerate access to Open RAN and wireless technology across the United States across verticals and into government, academia, and small business. Our robust open source development  infrastructure across the networking stack and within the cybersecurity space is a natural partner for the NSC’s spectrum development work already in play.”

“We are likewise excited to formalize our relationship with the Linux Foundation,” said Joe Kochan, executive director of the NSC. “When it comes to tackling tough wireless issues across industries, as our two organizations do, two heads are better than one. We look forward to our ongoing collaboration on Open RAN R&D and other wireless and networking innovation.”

Top-line goals of the collaboration include:

  • Establish an open source reference software architecture for Open RAN that will kickstart academic and commercial R&D by lowering the cost and complexity of entry
  • Rally support from industry with guidance and funds to leap forward in a true open and secure RAN
  • Maintain the commercial community-driven approach by the Linux Foundation to jumpstart the solutions
  • Recommend prototype projects to Department of Defense (DoD) for funding and help develop project scopes of work that include milestones such as:
    • Current components in open source interoperability
    • Security requirements (e.g., OpenSSF checklist)
    • Interop requirements (e.g., LF Networking’s 5G Super Blueprint)
    • Licensing and contribution requirements
    • Ecosystem requirements
    • CI/CD – open upstream and downstream
  • Establish an Open Source Open RAN program that can assist DoD and other federal agencies with funding, tracking, coordinating, and publicizing the prototype projects funded under this effort

Specific Linux Foundation projects involved in the collaboration include LF Networking and OpenSSF.

About The Linux Foundation

The Linux Foundation is the world’s leading home for collaboration on open source software, hardware, standards, and data. Linux Foundation projects are critical to the world’s infrastructure including Linux, Kubernetes, Node.js, ONAP, PyTorch, RISC-V, SPDX, OpenChain, and more. The Linux Foundation focuses on leveraging best practices and addressing the needs of contributors, users, and solution providers to create sustainable models for open collaboration. For more information, please visit us at

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About the National Spectrum Consortium

The National Spectrum Consortium (NSC) provides the Government direct access to almost 400  members of U.S. industry and academia who work with systems, sub-systems, components and the enabling technologies related to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum or the information that rides on it. The majority of Consortium members are small businesses, and over 75% are principally focused on commercial markets. Membership spans the continuum of basic research through large-scale production, enabling the formation of purpose-built teams tailored to the development phase(s) of most interest to the sponsor.

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