Sunday, February 21, 2016

#MWC16: Ericsson Expects First Virtual RAN Trials this Year

Ericsson expects its first Virtualized RAN field trial with a mobile operator in 2016. The company said the adoption of cellular IoT and Low Power Wide Area (LPWA) networks supporting millions of IoT device connections per cell site will drive the need for Cloud RAN flexibility.

Ericsson Virtualized RAN enables Virtual Network Functions (VNF) to be supported on a split architecture, with parts of the protocol stacks centralized on commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware, while others are decentralized. Ericsson enables both RAN and core functionality to be co-hosted on the same server, increasing the operational simplicity and savings enabled by virtualization without compromising on performance.

Ericsson's live Cloud RAN demonstration at MWC 2016 this week features radio access functionality virtualized on remote servers located in Sweden, including virtual instances of the Radio Resource Control Function (RRCF) and Packet Data Conversion Protocol (PDCP) function.

Ericsson is also showcasing its end-to-end role in the Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), including virtual EPC gateway functionality for local breakout of specific services or devices.

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