Cloud RAN: Essential to the Vision of an End-to-End 5G Cloud Network
This IDC Market Perspective discusses how Cloud RAN is essential to the vision of an end-to-end 5G cloud network. The broader telecom industry has only begun to realize the benefits of RAN virtualization, which includes a slow migration to C-RAN, Cloud RAN, and potentially Open RAN architectures. These initiatives in combination with already in-process NFV/SDN projects at the mobile edge and core could prove to be the difference maker in the 5G era, where end-to-end cloud networks deliver highly customized services to specific clients. While improved service agility is a strong value proposition, the expected cost benefits will be the driving force behind Cloud RAN and, in many cases, help carriers to economically justify 5G rollouts."The cost and economic benefits to Cloud RAN are compelling, with the potential for massive disruption by unlocking proprietary hardware and software interfaces in the RAN. Similar trends have taken hold in adjacent network domains, but with 5G pressing at the door, Cloud RAN is being pushed into field trials and tested for commercial efficacy, with the help of consortia," says Patrick Filkins, senior research analyst, IoT and Mobile Network Infrastructure.
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