February 26, 2024

Our Network is Open (RAN) for Business

Chris Sambar
Chris Sambar Head of Network, AT&T

Today at MWC, I had the honor of appearing onstage with Michael Dell to talk about AT&T’s continued march towards virtualizing our network, and we shared some exciting updates during our time together.

At AT&T, our goal is to be able to migrate to the next wireless generation by a software update only. As we build the network of the future, we are moving towards an open architecture where we can mix and match “best of breed” components from different vendors. Dell, alongside several suppliers including Ericsson, are playing a very important role in helping us achieve that milestone. In the coming years, Dell will play a significant role in providing servers at the foundation of our network.

AT&T was at the forefront of cloud transformation. In 2013, AT&T made the decision to virtualize our network, and then in 2019, we began our work to becoming a cloud-first company. We knew it would allow us to make enhancements to our network faster and be more responsive to the market and provide better service to customers.

We’ve been on that journey ever since to create a cloud-based and open network that gives developers the tools they need to innovate and create new products and services that benefit consumers and businesses.  Today the network has become the ‘killer app’ that will change how we live and work.  It’s truly an innovation platform that is open via APIs for developers to do what they do best – innovate for our digital future!


Our recent investment in Open RAN has allowed us to take a very important step for AT&T’s wireless future and is the next phase of our cloud journey. It will accelerate our 5G implementation nationwide and move 70% of AT&T’s wireless network traffic to “open” hardware and software infrastructure. 

By scaling an Open RAN environment, we expect to see increased supplier competition and new players to the ecosystem solving radio design challenges. There are many examples of open and highly secure interfaces throughout the world’s networks today, this is the future. And we’re confident the whole industry will benefit from an open environment. 

We’re in this together. AT&T, alongside many other major network operators, share this vision and have assembled a broad consortium to build an Open RAN Testing, Evaluation and R&D Center in the Dallas area, with a satellite location in the Washington, D.C. area. This is all made possible thanks to the NTIA’s funding towards wireless innovation.

Additionally, we just completed our first cloud RAN call with Ericsson and now have commercial traffic flowing on cloud RAN sites. This is another milestone for AT&T’s network in deploying Open RAN.

The open network future is coming fast and we’re looking forward to seeing the innovation that it brings!