With all the new RAN technologies flying around, it’s easy to confuse one acronym with another. So, let’s just clear up one of them.
Virtualized RAN (vRAN), formerly referred to as Cloud RAN, is definitely not the same thing as C-RAN. But what’s the difference? For starters, C-RAN stands for “Centralized Radio Access Network,” which is a stepping stone to true Virtualized RAN that mega-hardware vendors would have you believe is a necessary first step. It’s not, but for the moment, let’s just run with it. C-RAN, as the name implies, centralizes the baseband processing so that one physical location can handle hundreds of cells—across a city, for example.
True Virtualized RAN, like Mavenir’s solution, is much more advanced. It’s where C-RAN wants to be. With our vRAN, baseband processing functions that would otherwise be hardware-dependent are virtualized and located in a cloud. The architecture gives you many advantages. First off, you can use low-cost, commercial off-the-shelf servers (i.e., COTS), a factor that greatly reduces your capex—up to 49% according to our study with Senza Fili. Furthermore, it greatly simplifies network management and orchestration (MANO) and enables resource pooling; it’s also super-flexible and automatically scalable to meet the demands of even the largest RANs.
So, there you have it. If you’d rather be on the path to 37% TCO savings and 5G, then step away from big vendor hardware dependency and take your RAN into the Cloud.
Interested in Learning More About the TCO Model for Virtualized and Distributed RAN?
Download the How much can operators save with a Cloud RAN? white paper with the recently released results of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) model.