Tech mahindra
Tech mahindra

vRAN – An enabler for 5G

Posted by: Manish Singh On December 05, 2017 11:08 AM facebook linked in twitter

Virtualizing the Radio Access Network (RAN) is among the most important network transformations driven by SDN/NFV. According to GSMA, from 2016 – 2020 data traffic on mobile networks is projected to grow at 47% CAGR, while revenue is projected to grow just at 2.1% CAGR during the same period.1 The math couldn’t be simpler; to keep their businesses sustainable, service providers have to find solutions that aggressively bend their cost curve.

Growing streaming video consumption and new bandwidth hungry applications such as video calling & photo/video sharing will continue to further drive exponential data traffic growth on mobile networks. AR/VR devices will have massive multiplier effect on the total data traffic volume and will put much higher throughput and stringent latency demands on the network. As the industry embarks to connect 20B devices and more,2 massive IoT will disproportionately push the network limits on total number of connections the operators need to pay for as license fees and manage with legacy hardware centric RAN. Moreover, new applications, such as multi-party gaming and self-flying drones will demand ultra-low latency. The CSPs have to meet these unprecedented demands on: throughput, connections and ultra-low latency at a much lower cost. To seize the emerging 5G opportunities, networks will have to deliver much-more-for-far-less.

Most of the SDN/NFV efforts, to date, have been primarily focused on virtualizing mobile packet core and IMS domains. However, RAN spending can constitute a large part of the CSP’s CapEx. In order to bend the cost curve towards business sustainability while meeting the rising demand, RAN software should be virtualized running on white box hardware. The good news is that certain CSPs across the globe have taken their first steps to do just this. Traditionally, large OEMs have supplied RAN equipment as vertically integrated appliances. Virtualizing the RAN enables CSPs to disaggregate traditional base-station equipment into Remote Radio Heads (RRHs) and virtualized Baseband Units (vBBUs) running as VMs over carrier grade SDN/NFV infrastructure. This typically require solving the fronthaul transport to carry CPRI IQ samples, inter- connecting RRH and vBBU, that can meet the stringent latency and bandwidth requirement.

Altiostar, Red Hat and Tech Mahindra are collaborating, bringing together their complementary solutions and services, to enable CSPs to virtualize their RAN.

Altiostar is the vRAN pioneer and has implemented the software modules of eNodeB as VNF called vBBU. Altiostar’s vRAN fronthaul solution enables RRH and vBBU to be connected over any commercially available transport, e.g. metro Ethernet or GPON. RedHat is an open source software leader and it provides open source NFVI solution through its RedHat OpenStack Platform. Tech Mahindra’s global scale and comprehensive Network Services portfolio enables CSPs to rapidly design, deploy and operate their vRAN infrastructure. The three companies are already working with CSP to virtualize their RANs in tier-1 commercial networks.

Virtualizing the RAN enables for model-drive orchestration for their RAN infrastructure. It enables realizing higher levels of network abstraction such as network-slicing. Software-defined, virtualized RAN brings bearer level programmability and enables application specific network resource allocation. In essence,

About Author

Manish Singh, VP Product Management & Marketing - Network Services

Manish is a visionary Leader with proven track record of introducing compelling new products, creating market segment leaders and turning around product lines. A rare combination of outstanding technology depth and strong business acumen. Widely regarded as a visionary Thought Leader whose product strategies have led companies to achieve market leadership positions and deliver outstanding bottom-line results. Manish is currently leading the SDN/NFV strategic initiatives at Tech Mahindra.


Tags: Connected Industries, Run Change Grow, In The Future
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