Fronthaul evolution towards 5G – vRAN and open RAN
5G was no doubt the main theme of Mobile World Congress 2018 in Barcelona. Everywhere we turned, we were faced with booths displaying 5G banners, demos and announcements. This isn’t surprising of course, as in recent months, far more crystallized claims have been made ahead of 5G’s widespread availability in 2020. Following the approval of the 3GPP 5G NR specifications in late 2017, some mobile operators have promised to have live 5G networks in place as early as the end of 2018.
While the applications and use cases of 5G are no doubt very exciting, it’s important to remember that 5G is yet another network rollout for the mobile operators. Keeping in mind that they’ve already invested billions into their existing infrastructure, it is important to leverage as much of this investment as possible in migrating to 5G. Supporting legacy 2G, 3G and 4G networks is just as important as modernizing the networks in preparation for 5G. Having a fronthaul network in place that is backward compatible is vital.
Dali Wireless’ patented SDN Radio Router™ technology is the answer. It transforms the traditional two-tier fronthaul architecture which employs a point-to-point connection between the Baseband Unit (BBU) and the Remote Radio Unit (RRU) to a three-tier multipoint-to-multipoint network that is driven by software.
By adding an additional tier which implements advanced radio signal routing, aggregation and translation capabilities to the fronthaul network, Dali Wireless enables shared infrastructure, dynamic capacity allocation, and more importantly, an open RAN. This three tier architecture creates a more competitive and innovative ecosystem where mobile operators have the option to select best-in-class RAN elements that not only meet their current network requirements but the varying 5G applications and deployment scenarios in the most cost-effective and efficient way.
This is accomplished by enabling interoperability between new entrant vendors and existing deployed RAN elements. A three-tier architecture, enabled by Dali SDN Radio Router technology and commitment to open standards, enables a cost-effective multi-operator solution and enables network modernization without incurring the step function cost of rip-and-replace.
Download this whitepaper to learn how Dali SDN Radio Router™ technology can enable seamless migration to the next generation networks while protecting mobile operators’ existing network investments.