Radio Access Network (RAN) Architecture Evolution: State of Centralized RAN, Cloud RAN & Virtualization of RAN (vRAN)

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Report Summary:

Radio Access Network (RAN) Architecture has evolved to offer multiple deployment configurations from Centralized RAN to Cloud RAN (C-RAN) and Virtualized RAN (vRAN). Antennas and Remote Radio Heads (RRHs) can now be dispersed away from pooled or distributed Baseband Units (BBUs). And soon all of the RAN resources can be virtualized for dynamic allocation of spectrum, bandwidth and processing.

All the major vendors - Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia now offer a flexible range of '5G Ready' C-RAN solutions.

C-RAN trials are now becoming commercial deployments with diverse RAN configurations they can offer Multi-Frequency, Multi- RAT (3G, LTE & 5G) combinations that lower Total Cost of Operations (TCO) and allow rapid Capacity upgrades and Densification.

This presentation has been updated and expanded from an earlier overview presented at C-RAN summit in London in October 2016

Table of Contents

• Evolution of Centralized, Cloud RAN & Virtualized RAN (vRAN)
  • RAN Evolution Drivers
  • Evolution of Centralized & vRAN - Operator Examples CMCC, ETSI
  • Evolution of Cloud-RAN - Operator Examples: SK Telecom, Telecom Italia
  • Virtualization of the RAN
• Vendor Approaches to C-RAN & Architectural Evolution to 5G
  • Nokia
  • Huawei
  • Ericsson
  • Commscope
• Challenges for C-RAN and vRAN:
  • Business Cases
  • Fronthaul Challenges
• Status - C-RAN Trials Moving Fast to Live Deployments

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