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A Bright Future for Wireless Innovation at the RIC Forum

May 16, 2024

Byline: Jeremy Glenn, Program Management Specialist

The future of wireless innovation is bright.  

NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences (ITS), in collaboration with the Department of Defense’s FutureG Office, recently hosted the RIC (RAN Intelligent Controller) Forum in Dallas, Texas.  

Thanks to our incredible partners from U.S. federal agencies, governments abroad, academia, and industry, we had a packed house filled with live technology demonstrations from around the world. The event showcased what’s possible when government, academic and industry collaborate and share technical knowledge.  

The demonstrations and high engagement from attendees underscored why the RIC Forum is drawing such a high level of international attention and interest. Thanks to advances in the RAN Intelligent Controller, or RIC, Open RAN has the potential to spur energy efficiency, automation, spectrum management, and more.  

Open RAN is an approach to radio access network design that leverages open, interoperable, and standards-based elements to form a virtualized and disaggregated network. The RIC is the intelligence that controls the network’s behavior. When third party xApps and rApps are deployed in the RIC, the network can dynamically optimize the network for new priorities like energy saving, security, or spectrum management.  

As Assistant Secretary Davidson said in his opening remarks, the RIC Forum was “an opportunity to demonstrate that Open RAN is the future of telecommunications – in America and around the world.”  

The timing couldn’t be any better. NTIA is in the process of awarding more than a billion dollars through our Wireless Innovation Fund, to accelerate the adoption and deployment of open and interoperable networks. Demonstrations and conversations like those at the RIC Forum help us ensure our dollars are spent wisely.  

Outcomes of the RIC Forum include:

  • Understanding the current and future market for Open RAN technologies;
  • Demonstrating xApps and rApps for priority use cases such as energy saving, security, traffic steering, and spectrum management;
  • Showcasing the actual state of the international Open RAN market;
  • Sharing information among RIC developers around novel tools, strategies, and solutions; and
  • Engaging global partners and readying them for investment and large-scale deployment of this technology.  

2024 RIC Forum Highlights


It’s an all-hands-on-deck moment for Open RAN adoption. Open and interoperable networks offer an exciting opportunity to increase supply chain diversity, open global markets to new competition, lower costs, and improve supply chain resiliency. Thanks to initiatives like the RIC Forum we’re seeing the results of continued global collaboration.