Behind the headline grabbing transition from 4G to 5G wireless networks there is a significant shift in the radio access network (RAN) from a centralised architecture to a virtualized/cloud (vRAN) architecture. This shift in architecture enables the opening up of the RAN and associated infrastructure solutions, including xHaul networks and edge computing, through public and open specifications including Open RAN, eCPRI and multi-access edge computing (MEC). These developments are critical for the widespread deployment of 5G services.
In this blog I discuss vRAN architecture developments and highlight the key challenges for service providers. Future blogs in this series will cover the transition to 5G, the implementation options available for 4G/5G RANs and xHaul, and Open RAN developments.