Move over C-RAN, V-RAN is chomping at your heels. A company by the name of ASOCS is charting new ground by moving beyond cloud-RAN to a cloud-based virtualized RAN. This is designed to pool all of the baseband resources and layers in a remote location, and virtualize on general purpose hardware.
The argument for virtualization is more than just a cost reduction measure. It is the design of next-generation networks, according to Gilad Garon, CEO at ASOCS. This means virtualizing the base station as well as end-to-end services from the evolved packet core all the way to the edge.
This makes a lot of sense if it can be done for all the normal reasons; maintenance, opex, capex, etc. In fact, V-RAN shows a lot of promise for substantial cost savings at different levels. The trend toward network virtualization and RAN virtualization, specifically is driven by the need for mobile networks to accommodate fast traffic growth, driven by heavier usage from multiple vectors – individual subscribers, and the upcoming new classes of IoT devices.
V-RAN will be more of an enabler and facilitator, rather than a new paradigm along the evolutionary path of mobile networks. But it will be a pivotal disruption that has the potential to fundamentally change the way mobile operators plan and run their networks.