All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. This enables flexibility and creates new opportunities for competition, provides open interfaces and open source development, ultimately to ease the deployment of new features and technology with scale. The idea with network slicing is that you can virtualize and then isolate a given set of data traffic or a specific application all within a single shared physical network. However, if you want to make sense of the growing applications for 5G and what may or may not be possible at any given time or place, then you should understand at least some of the basic principles behind how it works. Pre-standard implementations. Toss in the increasingly sophisticated software used to manage all these resources, and the comparisons to cloud computing, as well as the seeming inevitability of the change for wireless networks, seems undeniable. Of course, Rakuten had the huge benefit, at least from an architectural perspective, of not having any existing legacy network infrastructure to upgrade or replace. Learn about edge computing and its implications for businesses and consumers. Performance & Tracking Cookies - We use our own and 3rd party analytics and targeting cookies to collect and process certain analytics data, including to compile statistics and analytics about your use of and interaction with the Site along with other Site traffic, usage, and trend data which is then used to target relevant content and ads on the Site. Learn more about Verizon's response to COVID-19, What is edge computing? The Leading Resource on Next-Generation IT Infrastructure. As simple as that may sound, it actually required a great deal of effort across a host of different elements, such as Samsung’s new virtual CU (Central Unit) and virtual DU (Distributed Unit) components, which replace traditional proprietary network infrastructure hardware with software that runs on general-purpose computing hardware. 5G RAN Architecture The concept of NFV extends to the RAN through for example network dis-aggregation promoted by alliances such as O-RAN. These are used to let you login and to and ensure site security. Learn about the benefits of 5G with Verizon. When it comes to reliability, however, and the dependence we all have on these networks, a more measured pace of change does start to make sense. View our Privacy Policy for more information. At times, the methodical, conservative pace at which many telcos make changes to their networks can be frustrating to those who’ve become accustomed to the lightning-fast pace at which other aspects of the technology industry move. The RAN handles the reception and transmission of the wireless signals used to communicate between devices and the main network (and then out to the cloud), so it plays a critical role for applications like network slicing. What are Radio Access Networks and 5G RAN. Bob O'Donnell is the president, founder and chief analyst at TECHnalysis Research, a technology market research and consulting firm that counts many of tech industry’s. The reason for this interest in moving to more flexible, open standards is, in many ways, analogous to the move to virtualization in servers and then the migration to cloud computing models. The network controller performs radio resource management, mobility management, and data encryption. Validating New Technologies that Challenge the Limits. Radio access networks utilize radio transceivers to connect you to the cloud. As with the first enterprise data centers that started making the move to cloud computing many years back, the big US carriers have a huge installed base of legacy equipment that they can’t just easily switch out. In order to do these types of tasks, 5G networks need more compute power and more sophisticated software than previous generations of wireless networks have required. Traditionally, most of the equipment used in cellular wireless networks comes from a few dedicated vendors, notably Ericsson, Nokia, and more recently, Samsung’s Network division. SDxCentral employs cookies to improve your site experience, to analyze traffic and performance, and to serve personalized content and advertising relevant to your professional interests. The firm's research and O’Donnell’s opinions are also regularly used by major media outlets, including Bloomberg TV, CNBC, CNN, Investor's Business Daily, the Wall Street Journal, Yahoo Finance, and more. Cell phones use radio waves to communicate by converting your voice and data into digital signals to send through as radio waves. I'm a tech industry market research analyst that writes about 5G, Edge Computing, AI, Cloud Computing, IoT, Smart Devices and more. At this point, it’s just a question of practical realities and how motivated all the various participants are in making it happen. highlighting the growing opportunity for Open RAN technology in 5G networks. One of the most interesting capabilities promised for 5G, for example, is network slicing. The Role of C-RAN in 5G Networks: Key Takeaways. You can manage your preferences at any time. These improvements are projected to take place throughout the UK, Germany, Spain, and … Interestingly, we’ve also seen traditional network equipment vendors start to get behind Open RAN. 5g ran Part of the end-to-end Nokia 5G Future X solution, our 5G RAN portfolio supports a flexible, AI-enabled architecture that includes our 3GPP R15-compliant 5G New Radio software, 5G-ready AirScale Radio Access, and groundbreaking ReefShark chipsets. Virtualization of radio access network (RAN) functionality is a hot topic, and we see a rapidly growing interest in understanding what the impact and benefits will be for service providers when deploying 5G. The bottom line is that the drive to adopt Open RAN and other more modern, software-defined, “virtualizable” network topologies is unquestionably moving forward, but the ultimate pace at which it occurs is going to be dependent on how easily network equipment vendors can make the transition possible for carriers. The RAN’s controller controls the nodes that are connected to it. Directly related to all of this is that the mindset of many telco network providers is more like that of a utility than it is a cutting-edge cloud computing service. It connects to the circuit-switched core network and the packet-switched core network, depending on the type of RAN. These RANs of the future will also contribute to the lower latency that makes 5G so powerful. Two types of RANs are Generic Radio Access Network (GRAN), which uses base transmission stations and controllers to manage radio links for circuit-switched and packet-switched core networks; and GSM Edge Radio Access Network (GERAN), which supports real-time packet data. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Samsung Networks and Verizon announced the first fully virtualized, end-to-end 5G data connection, ...[+] highlighting the growing opportunity for Open RAN technology in 5G … Disclosure: TECHnalysis Research is a tech industry market research and consulting firm and, like all companies in that field, works with many technology vendors as clients, some of whom may be listed in this article.