An automated, platform-based approach to RAN virtualization is key to achieving its benefits

Mobile network operators (MNOs) worldwide have been slow to virtualize the radio access network (RAN) because of its stringent performance requirements and complexity. However, they are now turning their attention to this expensive and demanding area of the network in search of the types of benefit that telecoms operators are beginning to experience in other network domains, including lower total cost of ownership (TCO), greater agility in scaling capacity and the prospect of increased and faster service innovation in future.


RAN virtualization is being enabled by the confluence of emerging open standards that support its functional disaggregation (into central, distributed and radio units) with new technologies that facilitate its technical disaggregation (separating RAN software from proprietary hardware).This new, open, interface-based approach to RAN virtualization is now possible because cloud-native technologies are more amenable to automation than the previous set of technologies used for network function virtualization (NFV).

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