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Impact of New Mobile Network Architectures

  • Report

  • 61 Pages
  • June 2020
  • Region: Global
  • ID: 5067646

This report answers the following questions:

  • Will virtualisation of the 5G radio access network truly enable significant gains for operators in the medium term?
  • What impact will dynamic spectrum management have on 5G?
  • What is the timetable for a standalone (SA) core network, the gateway to true 5G?
  • Will operators no longer be dependent on traditional equipment suppliers? Who are the RAN mavericks?
  • What impact will new entrants from the US have on the RAN market?
  • Which operators are spearheading the adoption of 5G wireless network virtualisation?

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

2. 5G and new network architectures
2.1. Key concepts
2.1.1. Core principles of virtualisation applied to mobile networks
2.1.2. Evolution of mobile access network architecture
2.1.3. Introduction of Edge Computing in the infrastructures network
2.1.4. 5G New Radio (NR) core network: non standalone and standalone architectures
2.1.5. Opportunities created by network slicing
2.2. Spectrum and 5G
2.2.1. Spectrum: influential in network topology
2.2.2. The RAN’s evolution: from yesterday to today to tomorrow
2.2.3. 5G expands available spectrum considerably
2.2.4. Increased network density: both a problem and a solution
2.2.5. Access to unlicensed spectrum
2.2.6. Dynamic Spectrum Sharing to facilitate the transition to an SA architecture
2.2.7. Appeal of millimetre wave bands

3. Initiatives
3.1. Alliances
3.1.1. Network virtualisation: transforming operators’ business
3.1.2. Joint initiatives to accelerate an inevitable transition
3.1.3. O-RAN Alliance and TIP, two main alliances promoting Open RAN
3.2. RAN suppliers
3.2.1. New RAN equipment suppliers
3.2.2. The new entrants
3.2.3. New entrants to RAN and veteran suppliers of other network components
3.2.4. Veteran RAN equipment suppliers

4. Rollouts
4.1. Case studies
4.1.1. Case study: China Mobile and its unparalleled network
4.1.2. Rakuten, the promises of a fully virtualised network
4.1.3. Telefónica
4.1.4. Vodafone UK
4.2. Lessons learned
4.2.1. Lessons on the choice of core network: NSA vs. SA
4.2.2. Lessons learned on spectrum choices and their and impact on rollout strategies
4.2.3. Lessons learned on rollout strategies: the access network
4.2.4. Lessons learned on rollout strategies: the rise of Open RAN
4.2.5. How technological choices affect operators’ economic equation

5. Conclusions
5.1. True 5G requires a deep-seated transformation by operators
5.2. 5G spectrum
5.3. The core network and its impact on the RAN
5.4. Mobile operators
5.5. Mobile network equipment suppliers
5.6. Recommendations

List of tables and figures

2. 5G and new network architectures

  • How SDN works
  • How iNFV works
  • Cost comparison between D-RAN and C-RAN on the TD-SCDMA network operated by China Mobile
  • Cost comparison between D-RAN and vRAN over five consecutive year in a densely populated area
  • Allocation of required means to services by slice
  • Comparison of the services’ different speed and latency requirements
  • Pros and cons of the different types of spectrum
  • How calling networks have evolved to accommodate more complex and demanding uses
  • An approach disaggregated from the RAN makes it easier to perform rollouts and increase the network’s density

3. Initiatives

  • One of the transformations sought by network virtualisation is the ability to be free of vendor lock-in/lock-out
  • Main alliances devoted to promoting the development of open vRAN solutions
  • Huawei, a major absentee from the two main Open RAN alliances

4. Rollouts

  • China Mobile’s ongoing RAN developments
  • Features of Rakuten Mobile’s RAN
  • Telefónica’s current RAN developments
  • A number of vRAN and Open RAN initiatives, still in the trial stage
  • Vodafone UK’s current RAN developments
  • Pros and cons of NSA and SA
  • mmWave bands, a plus in the medium/long term
  • Pros and cons of open and non open vRAN solutions
  • A horizontal and vertical disaggregation of the RAN
  • Pros and cons of Open RAN depending on population density
  • Expected economic benefits for mobile operators adopting vRAN solutions

5. Conclusions

  • Mobile operators’ adoption of virtualisation in the RAN
  • Five veteran suppliers’ (Ericsson, Huawei, Nokia, Samsung, ZTE) share of the RAN market



Companies Mentioned

  • AT&T
  • Accelleran
  • Affirmed Networks
  • Airspan
  • Altiostar
  • Amazon
  • Aricent
  • Baicells
  • Bouygues
  • BT
  • China Mobile
  • China Telecom
  • China Unicom
  • Cisco
  • Comba
  • Comcast
  • Commscope
  • Dell
  • Deutsche Telekom
  • Dish
  • Docomo
  • Ericsson
  • Etisalat
  • Facebook
  • Gemtek
  • Google
  • Huawei
  • Intel
  • JMA Wireless
  • KDDI
  • KPN
  • KT
  • LG U+
  • Mavenir
  • Metaswitch
  • NEC
  • Nokia
  • NuRAN wireless
  • Orange
  • Parallel Wireless
  • QCT
  • Radisys
  • Rakuten
  • Reliance Jio
  • Samsung
  • SKT
  • SoftBank
  • Telecom Italia
  • Telefónica
  • Telenor
  • T-Mobile
  • Verizon
  • Vodafone
  • ZTE