Swedish vendor Ericsson outlined details of a new Cloud RAN portfolio, due to be released in 2021, aimed at offering operators more flexibility with their infrastructure builds and serve as a catalyst for more openness.
The company stated Cloud RAN will be released in stages to match operators’ 5G rollout schedules. It is designed to handle the compute functionality in the RAN, complementing purpose-built baseband offerings in the radio system portfolio.
It is further intended to deliver network capabilities for large-scale and centralised 5G deployments, addressing new use cases for indoor, enterprise, stadium and beyond.
Ericsson explained operators would also be able to “incrementally” add Cloud RAN capabilities to their existing 5G networks, because it is fully compatible with the vendor’s radio system portfolio, and is compatible with spectrum sharing, non-standalone and standalone 5G.
The first stage covers low band 5G “to enable an easy transition to virtualised RAN” using commercial hardware platforms. It will also offer mid-band compatibility in future said Ericsson.
Per Narvinger, head of Product Area Networks at Ericsson, told Mobile World Live in an interview the company pictures the cloud-based solution complementing its traditional radio portfolio initially, but added there was a “long journey” ahead as to whether one “would precede the other”.
Indeed, Ericsson has already thrown its support towards open RAN networks, backing itself to be a major player in the technology’s development.
Narvinger believes the Cloud RAN would serve as the “foundation” for open innovation in the industry, and suggested Ericsson’s product perhaps had more credibility than rival offerings, given its strong position in the vendor market.
Every major customer globally had trialled the cloud solution and the vendor is now developing a “roadmap for commercialisation”, added Narvinger.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back