How C-RAN and 5G Technology Helps to Overcome the Ongoing Network Problems?
C-RAN network architecture when combined with 5G technology has the power to overcome all the major challenges faced by the telecommunications industry. By its very innate principles, C-RAN network architecture can overcome the problems associated with traditional network setups. This becomes extremely crucial in today’s world wherein advanced innovations like Artificial Intelligence and Internet of Things are slowly taking a concrete shape.
As far as telecommunication and Internet connectivity is concerned, 5G technology has undoubtedly been one of the most advanced innovations of the 21st century. The intrinsic features of 5G technology make it a foundation stone for all the advanced innovations like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, and Machine Learning. Not just the advanced ones, 5G technology also helps in amplifying the features of the existing technologies which were designed to suit previous networks like 3G and 4G. Take the example of C-RAN; though primarily designed to suit the 3G and 4G technologies, its true potential and capabilities are unlocked with the help of 5G technologies.
5G Technology and C-RAN Architecture: A Powerful Combination
A market study report published by Research Dive highlights that the global C-RAN market is expected to generate a market revenue of around $85,899.7 million by 2031.
C-RAN, also called cloud Radio Access Network or centralized Radio Access Network, is basically a network architecture that takes the support of cloud-based computing. C-RAN was designed to suit all types of cellular networks including 2G, 3G, 4G, and other futuristic cellular technologies. In the last few years, traditional cellular network architectures have been widely criticized owing to the problems associated with them. Traditional network architectures have standalone base stations as their fundamental units on which the whole system rests. These base stations have their own setup including cooling mechanisms, monitoring systems, backhaul transmission mechanisms, and others. These base stations are used by multiple service providers and due to the limited bandwidth that is offered to these network providers, the transmitted or received signals often face interference. This problem is exacerbated by the limited energy carrying capacities of 2G and 3G. All these issues together become a single major roadblock in introducing and implementing modern-day technologies like Internet of Things.
C-RAN makes a deviation from this traditional network architecture setup and offers benefits such as increase in capacity and reduction in inter-channel interference. Due to this, the rate of adoption of cloud RAN architecture has increased in the past few years. Apart from the benefits of C-RAN architecture, the parallel launching of 5G network technology across the globe has a huge role to play in this expected growth of the cloud RAN market.
Unlike traditional network architectures which are powered by closed-source hardware and software, C-RAN runs on real-time virtualization capability which is built on open platforms. This allows cloud RAN to allocate network pools to different vendors based on the load their base stations handle. Thus, the dynamic distribution of network pools allows the service providing companies to function in a larger bandwidth and clears up the issue of interference. 5G technology, on top of it, with its minimum latency feature and huge carrying can help in delivering data packets that are hundred or even thousand times heavier than its traditional network technologies.
Another important consideration is related to the cost of installing standalone base stations. Since traditional base stations have their own setup, the cost of setting up one unit is huge; additionally, the area covered by these units is restricted which makes it necessary for the service providers to install base stations are regular intervals. The cost of delivering uninterrupted Internet services shoots up. C-RAN provides an excellent solution to this problem, too; C-RAN network architecture through its basic units of base band unit (BBU) and remote radio unit (RRU) makes the network more heterogenous and self-organizing. This automatically increases the range of the range of each unit, that too, with reduced energy consumption. This becomes crucial as one innate disadvantage of 5G is that its high energy carrying capacity comes at a price of limited reachability. However, with C-RAN architecture in place, the deployment of 5G technology in remote areas becomes quite easier.
The Bottom Line
Both C-RAN and 5G technology allow the use of both the connection types- cellular and optical fiber. Network management, a major headache that network operators experience, is effectively solved due to this ability of the cloud RAN architecture. Furthermore, this ability, along with 5G’s speed, helps the network architecture to support multiple technologies at the same time- a very vital necessity for implementing Internet of Things. Thus, the combo of cloud RAN and 5G technology truly has the power to usher in a new age of digitization. Naturally, the future of several projects and innovative technologies naturally focuses on the success of this model.
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