Cloud-RAN (also known as C-RAN) is part of the ongoing evolution of the Radio Access Network. C-RANs are gaining traction as we move inexorably toward virtualized RANs — not only for the potential cost savings, but also because they offer performance improvements and easier deployment and maintenance than traditional RANs.
Long-term cost savings for C-RANs include gains from improved network performance and utilization. Those savings come from a number of different resources and across a number of functionalities, so they’re tougher to measure than the savings for a single cell. That and the high cost of transition have been slowing the move to virtualized RAN. Still, there’s no stopping evolution—especially an evolution that offers long-term financial savings and strategic benefits.
If you haven’t been exposed to the drivers for Cloud-RAN virtualization and the implications for cells and traditional RANs, you should take a look at the new report by Senza Fili, “Charting the Path to RAN Virtualization.” If you already appreciate Cloud-RAN and think it might be for you, but have been afraid of the migration costs, you should check out the report for ways to ease the transition from a traditional RAN to a Cloud-RAN.
There are tons of tips in this report and whoever you are, if you have any stake in RANs and the future of the Radio Access Network, you owe it to yourself to take a look.