Software-Defined Virtualized RAN (vRAN)

Most of the CAPEX required to build a wireless network is related to the Radio Access Network (RAN) segment, reaching as high as 80% of the total network cost. Any reduction in the RAN equipment cost will significantly help the bottom line of wireless operators as they struggle to cope with the challenges of ever-increasing mobile traffic and flat revenues. Analysts projections of a 5G Macro-cell deployment cost show pricing falling by 50% until 2022 if it is built around an open architecture, whereas it will only fall by 30% if built in the traditional way. The 20% difference is hundreds of millions of dollars in the overall TCO, and will help mobile operators extend investments and become more profitable.

OpenRAN is the key to next-generation mobile network infrastructure. The OpenRAN architecture, designed with cloud-native virtualization techniques, enables the hardware ecosystem and the RAN itself to adapt and scale in real-time, based on usage and need for coverage or capacity. This flexibility provides edge network location choices for the baseband processing fitting the existing networks’ backhaul infrastructure and is future-proof to any future backhaul architecture. In addition, it offers:

  • Ability to select any COTS BBU and pool them as necessary
  • A strategic software differentiation by enabling the OpenRAN based Remote Radio Units (RRUs) to interwork with the COTS-based Virtualized Baseband Unit (vBBU), preventing vendor lock-in
  • Ability to use non-ideal fronthaul (i.e. Ethernet), overcoming the traditional constraints of CPRI over fiber

Legacy RAN platforms have been based on proprietary hardware and rely on long and costly life-cycles in development, deployment, and operation. This created vendor lock-in and the inability to keep pace with technology and demographic changes. With each generation of radio interface change, these radios are typically replaced with newer versions at a significant investment and inconvenience to the mobile operators, perpetuating the vendor lock-in.

Parallel Wireless innovative vRAN solution (vBBU and RRU) is truly open, designed to address the requirements of 2G, 3G and 4G networks with design and programming capabilities that enable software upgrades to 5G – providing investment protection and deployment flexibility in comparison to the legacy traditional radio infrastructure expansion that requires costly physical replacement in evolution race to 5G.

Deployment Options

By supporting a variety of OpenRAN hardware to cater to different use cases for coverage and capacity, utilizing advanced receivers and beamforming, Parallel Wireless Open vRAN brings business agility with network elasticity, flexibility, and real-time RAN optimization. The edge-centric baseband processing delivers low latency, local breakout, seamless mobility with real-time interference management and optimal resource optimization. In addition, the vBBU is designed to support multiple 3GPP compliant traffic splits, making the Parallel Wireless O-RAN solution an ideal choice for a vendor-agnostic and future-proof strategy for a 5G evolution, helping to achieve substantial TCO savings with easy to deploy and easy to maintain fully virtualized OpenRAN.

Rajesh Misha

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