Operators are starting to plan their roadmaps for 5G virtualised RAN (vRAN), which will require cloud platforms that are highly distributed and have extremely high performance. To achieve an attractive ROI, operators can use the same platforms to address the emerging market for enterprise far edge services, worth USD 23.5 billion by 2030.
This report outlines why operators should consider implementing a common virtualised radio access network (vRAN) cloud to support both the distributed vRAN architecture options that they are likely to need and the advanced enterprise (Industry 5.0) applications that are on the horizon. It also provides recommendations for operators (traditional mobile network operators (MNOs) and new deployers of 5G) and, by implication, vRAN and cloud technology vendors.
It is based on several sources:
- internal research and operator survey.
- interviews with stakeholders in the cloud RAN market.
This report answers the following questions:
- Why do operators need a single horizontal cloud for all vRAN functions?
- What are the challenges associated with building a vRAN cloud?
- How and where should vRAN be supported with edge cloud?
- What is the business case for vRAN cloud? Does it enhance operators’ business case for other edge-based services?
- What are the technology considerations when building a vRAN cloud?
Who Should Read This Report?
- Operator vRAN planning and procurement departments that need to understand the trade-offs of different vRAN splits and the benefits of horizontal cloud.
- Operator network cloud development and operations groups that need to understand the implications of running RAN functions on a cloud.
- vRAN function vendors that wish to understand operator thinking and business cases.
- Vendors of cloud stack technologies that want a view of the likely market for their products, and chip technology developers with focus on accelerators for vRAN.
- Executive summary
- Research overview
- Where will cloud play a role in vRAN?
- Why vRAN cloud will be hard to achieve
- Strengthening the business case for vRAN cloud with enterprise applications
- About the authors