C-RAN and the True 5G

5G Cloud RANWhile people may debate what 5G will be, there are a few key facts that cannot be changed. These facts will shape what 5G will be. Based on this we expect that new winners will emerge who can capitalize on new trends through innovating new solutions. Therefore, aside from the hype that dominates 5G talk, the key is to peel the layers that shroud the fundamentals. Over the last three years of researching the potential for Cloud RAN (C-RAN), I saw all the traits of a disruptive technology lurking in the background (2014, 2015). But with 5G, I think this can all change, and C-RAN will bolt to the foreground in more than one way. Read more of this post

Cloud RAN vs. Picocells: The Need for Integrative Approach in Next Generation Network Design.

Picocell vs. Cloud RANWhen it comes to deciding on deploying small cell base stations, one is faced with a few options. One option is based on cloud RAN architecture with remote radio heads connected through optical fiber to a central base station housing the baseband processing. A second option is that of a compact base station which includes both the radio frequency and baseband processing functions. The compact base station is connected to the core network by a number of different backhaul technologies.

The availability of low cost fiber is a gating factor in deploying cloud RAN architecture. Remote radio heads require very high capacity links to support modern air interface features such as multiple antennas for MIMO. CPRI and OBSAI interfaces run at between 3 and 6 Gbps depending on the number of supported antennas. The compact base station on the other hand requires much lower capacity for backhaul – on the order of tens to over a hundred Mbps.  Low backhaul throughput requirements should translate into lower deployment cost to the advantage of compact base stations. Read more of this post

Cloud RAN vs. Small Cells: Trading Processing for Transport Cost.

Perhaps you heard of Cloud-based RAN (C-RAN), the latest acronym in the mobile industry. If you are familiar with “base station hotel,” then you’re familiar with this mobile network architecture.

C-RAN takes the distributed base station architecture to its extreme: It pools the baseband processors in a central location and distributes remote radio headends which are connected through dark fiber to the baseband engines. The distance can be as long as 40 km. Read more of this post