Aricent is co-creating a General-Purpose Processor (GPP) based Virtualized LTE RAN reference solution with Intel, Fairwaves and Baicell.
The reference solution will provide 4G RAN services for high capacity deployment. The innovative reference solution has virtualized LTE RAN Layer 3, Layer 2 and Upper Layer 1 hosted on GPP based Central Unit (CU) and Lower Layer 1 hosted on Remote Radio Unit (RRU). CU communicates RRU over eCPRI/Ethernet. The solution is based on 3GPP Option 7-x functional split.
Aricent is the lead software integrator of the solution. The reference solution utilizes Aricent 4G LTE RAN software framework based on Cloud-RAN architecture. The reference solution builds on the Intel FlexRAN reference architecture, catering to the high capacity solution requirements. Cloud based CU interacts with Baicell and Fairwaves RRU. Network Equipment Provider (NEPs) can monetize the reference solution supported on GPP to provide LTE solutions for urban market needs. The architecture and solution can be readily enhanced for 5G.
The wireless state-of-the-art solution has an advantage over system over chip (SoC) solutions. It is more advanced and provides better scalability and cost efficiencies. Urban deployment necessitates high capacity cells as well dense deployment of cell equipment.
Conventional solutions lead to higher capital and operational costs as all the cells have to be deployed to deliver maximum capacity. In addition, dense deployments lead to signal interference at the cell edge. Given the mobility of users during different times of the day, virtualization makes capacity allocation seamless and scalable to meet the different types of demand for coverage, providing the pooling gain.
With an increasing amount of Layer 1 technologies, such as small cells, moving to the cloud, interference at the cell edge can be reduced with advanced features such as Coordinated Multipoint (CoMP) transmission.
N. Mohan Rangan, Chief Engineering Officer at Aricent said: “Small cell deployments have increased dramatically and analysts estimate that the market could be worth $2.8 billion by 2022. That’s remarkable and a valuable opportunity for NEPs.”
Mohan concluded: “We can get an edge free radio network. The solution can truly deliver the high capacity deployment requirements of 4G and 5G while reducing Capex and Opex.”