The AORA Open RAN curriculum is a product of co-creation, involving over a hundred interviews and focus group discussions with academics, technologists, MNOs, and manufacturers both locally in the Philippines and internationally.  It builds on the solutions and standards offered by organizations currently developing the Open RAN movement’s key standards, including the O-RAN Alliance, 3GPP, the Telecom Infra Project, and the Open RAN Policy Coalition.  The curriculum, with both foundational and technical courses, will initially be rolled out across universities in the Philippines, and subsequently, across a consortium of learning institutions throughout the region.  All academic lecturers will receive advanced Open RAN training and will hold relevant certifications related to Open RAN.

Open RAN Courses

The Open RAN Courses Catalog presents a holistic educational voyage, designed to transition learners from foundational telecommunications concepts to the intricate realms of Open RAN technology. It begins by grounding participants in essential theories, ranging from Radio Access Networks to cutting-edge 5G insights. The journey then advances through the specialized architecture and operations of Open RAN, culminating in an immersive exploration of its sophisticated ecosystem, including critical studies of interoperability, security, and policy nuances. This streamlined curriculum is crafted not only to educate but also to inspire innovation, preparing participants to become trailblazers in the continuously evolving landscape of telecommunications.

Foundational Courses

Course Description: The Radio Access Network Fundamentals course comprehensively introduces the core concepts and components of Radio Access Networks (RAN) within the wireless telecommunications ecosystem. This course covers the fundamental principles of electromagnetic spectrum utilization, the evolution of radio access generations, and RAN architecture spanning all generations.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the basic principles of Radio Access Networks and their role in wireless telecommunications systems.
  • Comprehend the fundamentals of the electromagnetic spectrum and its utilization in wireless communications.
  • Identify the critical components of radio access generations and their performance characteristics.
  • Compare and contrast RAN architectures across all generations, recognizing their differences and similarities.
  • Analyze the evolution of RAN technologies and their impact on modern wireless communication systems.

AORA YouTube video link:
Radio Access Network

Course Description: This course covers the foundations of the OpenFlow Protocol and its use and functionality in Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

This course also covers the basics of Software-Defined Networking and its practical use cases in IT and Telco Networks, as well as its relationship to Network Functions Virtualization (NFV).

Learning Outcomes:

  • Define what is Software-Defined Networking (SDN)
  • Understand the difference between Control Plane and Data Plane in an SDN environment
  • State different Use Cases where SDN may be used
  • Define what is OpenFlow as a protocol and its practical uses in SDN
  • Define what is Virtualization and state its benefits in Computing
  • Define what is Network Functions Virtualization (NFV)
  • Describe the relationship between NFV and SDN
  • State different Use Cases where NFV may be used

AORA YouTube video link/s
: Open Flow, SDN, NFV

Course Description: Open RAN is heavily integrated into cloud computing as it is assumed that various critical components will be hosted in a cloud environment. This course is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of cloud computing concepts, technologies, and applications. Students will learn about the different cloud service models (IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS), deployment models (public, private, and hybrid), and cloud security best practices. They will also gain hands-on experience with popular cloud platforms.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Evaluate different cloud service providers to determine the best fit for specific business needs.
  • Assess the security measures offered by various cloud service providers, including encryption and identity management.
  • Investigate case studies of businesses that have encountered significant challenges in their cloud adoption journey.
  • Summarize the key benefits of cloud computing, such as cost savings, scalability, and flexibility.

AORA YouTube video link: Intro to Cloud Computing

Course Description: Edge computing is a distributed computing paradigm that brings computation and data storage closer to the sources of data, such as IoT devices or local edge servers. This enables real-time processing and analysis of data, which is critical for many emerging applications, such as self-driving cars, augmented reality, and industrial automation.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify the basic elements that characterize edge computing solutions.
  • Name the key components that make up an edge computing architecture.
  • Recognize common limitations of edge computing, such as resource constraints and management complexity.
  • Identify common goals shared by both edge and cloud computing, such as data processing and service delivery.
  • Distinguish between the primary operational models of edge computing and cloud computing.

AORA YouTube video link: Introduction to Edge Computing

Course Description: The 5G Mobile Networks course offers an in-depth exploration of the fifth-generation mobile networks, their underlying principles, and key technologies. This course covers a wide range of topics, including the mobile economy, 5G performance targets, use case families, spectrum utilization, services, techniques, and the role of 3GPP in standardizing 5G. Students will gain a comprehensive understanding of 5G systems, EUTRAN descriptions, beamforming, Massive MIMO, and the relationship between 5G and Open RAN.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Identify the fundamentals of 5G mobile networks and their role in the mobile economy.
  • Identify the key performance targets and use case families associated with 5G technology.
  • Comprehend the importance of 5G spectrum, services, and techniques in developing next-generation networks.
  • Recognize the role of 3GPP in standardizing 5G systems and the evolution of EUTRAN.
  • Differentiate the beamforming principles and the significance of Massive MIMO in 5G networks.
  • Analyze key 5G technologies, such as network slicing, edge computing, NFV, and SDN.
  • Distinguish between control and user plane functions and their implications in 5G networks.
  • Evaluate functional split options and their impact on network architecture and performance.
  • Evaluate the relationship between 5G and Open RAN and their potential integration benefits.

AORA YouTube video link: 5G Mobile Networks – A Systems Approach 

Course Description: This course covers the foundations of the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. It also covers the different types of Machine Learning algorithms, the workflow process, pre-processing, performance evaluation, and its applications to network analysis and Open RAN technology. Moreover, this course covers the basic implementation of Machine Learning algorithms using Python-based software tools such as Scikit-Learn and/or Google Colaboratory.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Understand the history, importance, basic concepts of AI, Machine Learning (ML), and workflow process
  • Understand and differentiate Types of Machine Learning
  • Understand and implement Data Pre-processing Techniques
  • Understand and implement Linear Regression Learning Algorithm
  • Understand and implement Classification and Clustering Learning Algorithms
  • Understand and implement hyperparameter tuning, evaluation metrics, and confusion matrix
  • Understand the use of AI and ML in Network Monitoring and Open RAN

AORA YouTube video link: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Learning Objectives:

  • List the fundamental principles that should guide the development and deployment of AI systems.
  • Name the core elements that comprise AI governance within an organization.
  • Recall the concept of human-in-the-loop (HITL) and its relevance to AI systems.
  • Identify the best practices for data quality, data storage, and data lifecycle management within AI systems.
  • Recognize the distinction between internal governance structures and external ones (such as legal regulations and industry standards) related to AI.
  • List the main drivers that impact AI development.


AORA YouTube video link: AI Ethics and Governance (playlist)

Basic Open RAN

Course Description: This course covers the key principles of Open RAN (O-RAN).

It discusses the development of mobile communications in different generations and the various RAN groups, such as distributed (D-RAN), cloud (C-RAN), virtual (v-RAN), and Open RAN. A discussion of the different equipment from traditional vendors such as the remote radio unit (RRU), interface, and baseband unit (BBU) will be provided.
Then continue to discuss various benefits and risks of using an O-RAN system.

The O-RAN Alliance is the focal point for Open RAN standardization, with partnerships with other organizations like TIP (Telecom Infra Project) and 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) being highlighted. It will bring together various Open RAN groups, initiatives, participants, and ecosystems. The course will cover a variety of O-RAN developments from throughout the world, as well as other industry initiatives.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define what Open RAN is
  • Explain the different eras of mobile technologies
  • Describe the various RAN equipment from traditional vendors
  • Differentiate the different RAN architectures
  • Compare the advantages and risks of adopting an Open RAN System
  • Identify the specifications and workgroups of the O-RAN Alliance and other Open RAN players
  • Identify the Open RAN developments from around the world and other industry initiatives

AORA YouTube video link:
Intro to Open RAN (playlist)

Course Description: This course covers the overall O-RAN architecture and relevant specifications. A discussion of the architecture evolution of radio access networks (RAN) that started due to the disaggregation of hardware and software components is included. Open RAN considers not only open remote radio unit (RRU) and baseband unit (BBU) but also open interfaces. This course also expounds on the four main functional components in Open RAN: distributed unit (DU), centralized unit (CU), near-real-time RAN Intelligent controller (RIC), and service management orchestration (SMO) with non-real-time RIC.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize the evolution of the RAN Architecture 
  • Define D-RAN, C-RAN, V-RAN and O-RAN
  • Identify the hardware and interfaces of the O-RAN architecture

AORA YouTube video link: Deep Dive into O-RAN Architecture (playlist)

Course Description: This course covers the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC), ORAN interfaces, and functional splits. The topics also include RAN control loops, non-real-time RIC architecture, and near-real-time RIC architecture, as well as xApps and rApps. Functional split options define how the functions of the control and distributed units are divided. This course is best taken after completing the “Deep Dive into O-RAN Architecture” course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize RIC and the functional split
  • Explain xApps and rApps
  • Differentiate Non-RT RIC and Near-RT RIC architectures

AORA YouTube video link: RAN Intelligent Controller (playlist)

Advanced Open RAN

Course Description: Implementing Open RAN is one thing, but making it interoperable is another. To make the ecosystem fully functional, making Open RAN interoperable is necessary. In this course, we will learn about the prerequisites in making Open RAN interoperable. We will also tackle the different open standards in making interoperability possible. Just like any technologies being implemented, we will also look into the challenges in making Open RAN fully functional and interoperable.

This course is best taken after completing the “Deep Dive into O-RAN Architecture” course.

Learning Objectives:

  • Provide a historical overview of Open RAN
  • Describe when and where Open RAN is being tested and deployed
  • Identify the key factors in making Open RAN Interoperable
  • Describe the Open RAN standards
  • Explain the open standards for interfaces and network controllers needed for Open RAN
  • Suggest solutions to meet the challenges in making Open RAN interoperable

AORA YouTube video link/s: Open RAN Interoperability, Interoperability in Open RAN  (Challenges, Solutions & Operations)

Course Description: As a result of change from closed propriety solutions to Open RAN, a shift in network architecture paradigm happens. With this, innovation is inevitable for a large and varied number of future use cases. By looking into different Open RAN value chain categories, we can further understand how the increase in demand for Open RAN technologies can aid the vendor landscape and future of RAN. Vendors that already carry Open RAN technologies will also be discussed to give us a better idea on how far we are into the adoption of Open RAN.

This course is best taken after completing the “Deep Dive into O-RAN Architecture” and “Interoperability course.”

Learning Objectives:

  • Describe Open RAN Value Chain Categories
  • Summarize Findings from Recent Studies
  • Identify Future Estimates
  • Explain Open RAN Vendor Distribution
  • Analyze current Open RAN Adoption

AORA YouTube video link: Open RAN Value Chain and Vendor Landscape (video 1), Open RAN Value Chain and Vendor Landscape (video 2)

Open RAN is designed with security in mind.  While it is still in its early stages, we need to understand its current state and direction.  Discussions include risk assessments, threat modeling, and challenges which will affect Open RAN components and interfaces’ security.  Recommended best practices and frameworks such as NIST CSF, CIS Critical Security Controls, among others, are introduced which helps assess and implement controls to further secure Open RAN deployments.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Define the key terminologies and concepts in Open RAN Security
  • Summarize the overview of the state of Open RAN Security
  • Discuss/Illustrate the overview of the Open RAN Threat Modelling
  • Describe the Security / Scope and Controls of Open RAN Interfaces
  • Explain the Zero Trust Architecture, NIST CSF, CIS Critical Security Controls
  • Discuss/Illustrate an overview of how to secure a system to comply with CIS Benchmarks
  • Explain Penetration Testing

AORA YouTube video link: Open RAN Security

Course Description: This course covers the O-RAN Alliance’s several use cases and phases. The O-RAN Technical Priority Document, which contains a list of prioritized technical requirements, will be discussed. O-RAN key use cases for Phase I will be highlighted, including traffic steering, QoS optimization, QoS-based resource optimization, and Massive MIMO optimization. O-RAN key use cases for Phase II will be covered, including RAN Slice SLA Assurance, Context-based Dynamic Handover Management for V2X, Flight Path-Based Dynamic UAV Resource Allocation, and Virtual RAN Network. Industry players will be invited to discuss their use cases, whenever possible.

Learning Objectives:

  • Explain the different use cases and phases introduced by O-RAN Alliance.
  • Describe the technologies under each Open RAN use case.
  • Identify the different technical priorities for Open RAN architectures.

AORA YouTube video links: Open RAN Use Cases Tests and Integration, Open RAN Uses Cases

This introductory course covers (a) theories concerning how policy is developed, implemented, and
changed, (b) a framework for analyzing and assessing public policy decision-making, and (c) the
tools used to address policy problems that need to be considered in the open Radio Access Network
(RAN) ecosystem. First, the course examines the key basics of public policy and the key actors and
institutions involved in the policy-making process Then, the course will look at the current public
policies that have implications for the open RAN ecosystem. Finally, the course will analyze the
public policy implications in the Philippines (and other Indo-Pacific countries) of the work of the
Open RAN Policy Coalition, a group of companies formed to promote policies that will advance the
adoption of open and interoperable solutions in the RAN to create innovation, spur competition and
expand the supply chain for advanced wireless technologies, including 5G and beyond.

Learning Objectives:

  • Summarize and describe the stages of the public policy process, from agenda setting to
    enactment to implementation and evaluation in the Philippines (or any other Indo-Pacific
  • Identify and map the interests, stakeholders, and institutions surrounding policy issues in the
    Philippines (or any other Indo-Pacific country) and how these factors affect open RAN
  • Assess policies advocated by the Open RAN Policy Coalition
  • Propose implications of the policies advocated by the Open RAN coalition for the Open RAN ecosystem in the Philippines (or any other Indo-Pacific country)

Check this space for updates.

Course Description: This course covers project roll-out of O-RAN Mobile Network and activities / tasks associated with deployment of such systems including maintenance / capacity planning of these platforms; and lastly, how to maintain and monitor such enormous systems for better optimization, resource allocation, efficiency of the network.

Learning Objectives: 

  • Distinguish the different tasks/activities needed to deploy a new mobile network 
  • Discuss techniques and methods of project management in rolling-out new cellular platform (ex. O-RAN network)
  • Design and implement an effective network management monitoring system for maintenance and capacity planning

AORA YouTube video link: Managing and Operating Open RAN

Nokia Courses

The 5G courses from Nokia offer the perfect way for students and professionals to supplement the comprehensive understanding of 5G Open RAN. Gain a broad, technical understanding of this innovative technology from a true market and innovation leader.

Saylor Academy Courses

Saylor Academy courses offer a unique opportunity to learn new skills, earn credits toward a degree, and advance your career at your own pace. With hundreds of free online courses to choose from, Saylor Academy provides a personalized learning experience to fit your schedule and your goals. 

Rakuten & Intel Courses

Rakuten and Intel have partnered to provide comprehensive and detailed courses aligned with Open RAN technology. These courses offer an in-depth look at Open RAN technology, helping you to understand its inner workings and gain the skills to use it effectively.