Cloud Radio Area Networks (C-RAN)
Enables CSPs to add intelligence to the edge by allowing the network to respond dynamically and on-demand to bandwidth and service load requirements, combining collaborative radio and a real-time cloud infrastructure with centralized, general purpose processing solutions. Current C-RAN LTE base station architectures roughly abstract to a mixed use of custom applications running on commoditized virtualized infrastructure and running 3GPP compliant software.
Instead of dedicated hardware in the base station, workload is divided across multiple cores, while remaining compute cycles can be used to provide applications and service on the C-RAN. Centralized baseband processing is afforded by a pool of high capacity processing units and real-time virtualization technology. Optical networks connect centralized baseband processing pools to a highly distributed radio network (composed of RF units and antennas). Innovations and optimizations reduce the number of base station sites and lowers CAPEX and OPEX.