Assessing the Risk Associated with Chinese Companies Present in the Architecture of Open RAN


28 Jun 2021, 17:00 – 18:00 CET

Open RAN has received significant attention as a possible option for future 5G networks, but the solution raises as many questions as it answers. These include questions associated with the security implications of having Chinese state-owned and other enterprises involved as vendors and architects of the underlying technology as well as broader concerns associated with the way these solutions have been developed. This roundtable assessed these security implications and the options facing policymakers.

Roundtable agenda
⚫ 17:00 - 17:10 Introduction: The Role of Chinese Companies in Open RAN
➡️ Moderator: Andrew Davenport, Board Member, PSSI, Chief Operating Officer, RWR Advisory Group
⚫ 17:10 - 17:20 Open RAN’s Broader Shortcomings in the Context of Global Security Concerns
➡️ Speaker 1: Beryl Thomas, Visiting Fellow, European Council on Foreign Relations
This session addressed the original objectives behind the push for Open RAN and identified those areas more broadly where Open RAN risks are falling short. This session also explored the implications of these shortcomings in light of the geopolitical and security concerns facing Europe. 
⚫ 17:20 - 17:30 Extending the Prague 5G Proposals to Open RAN
➡️ Speaker 2: Michal Thim, China and Cyber Expert, Association for International Affairs (AMO)
This session addressed the question of whether Open RAN solutions are consistent with the Prague 5G Proposals and why or why not? The audience learned about and discussed the shortcomings or questions that might be raised in this regard and the severity of these concerns.
⚫ 17:30 - 17:40 Security Challenges Facing Europe from Open RAN
➡️ Speaker 3: Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, Director, European Center for International Political Economy
What does the O-RAN Alliance mean for 5G in Europe?  This session addressed the difference between the security and legal risks associated with high-risk vendors under current international standards, and the new forums like O-RAN.
⚫ 17:40 - 18:00 Questions & Answers
You can watch the recording of the roundtable below.
The roundtable was organized with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Prague. The event took place online via ZOOM.