What is vRAN?

1 min read

What if you could quickly maneuver mobile radio access network (RAN) assets remotely in such a way that they work when and where you need them, all within an open architecture?

This is the idea behind a virtual radio access network (vRAN) and the opposite approach of a traditional RAN platform, which is based on proprietary hardware and relies on long lifecycles in operation, development and deployment.

In the following video, we’ll explain and contrast RAN and vRAN and show practical examples of application today. You’ll find out why Communications Service Providers (CSPs) see vRAN as a game-changer in relation to their business and service models:

Explore key vRAN features

  • Proprietary and expensive hardware is replaced: You disaggregate the RAN architecture, now providing open interfaces and an ecosystem in which many vendors and solution providers can innovate. 
  • vRAN applies the principles of network function virtualization (NFV): RAN network functions are virtualized and deployed on cloud platforms. vRAN brings the benefits of cloud and the ability to take a platform-centric approach by deploying RAN network functions on an agile, scalable and hybrid platform on common-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware. This breaks down silos and minimizes CAPEX and OPEX.
  • Network functions can be flexibly deployed: In the context of 5G, this is very important to support higher cell and device density and a wide variety of use cases not limited to physical network functions.
  • vRAN enables cloud automation: Automation software can monitor key performance metrics, rebalance the workload and simplify maintenance. This helps CTOs make time for brilliance (i.e., spend more time on innovation).

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