Virtualization entails the migration from custom-built network nodes to network functionality implemented in software running on a generic hardware compute platform. Vendor-agnostic hardware facilitates innovation across a wide range of software ecosystems, and Cloud RAN also creates the potential to generate additional network architecture flexibility, bringing platform harmonization and simplification.
Virtualization of radio access network (RAN) functionality is a hot topic, and the potential benefits that virtualization could bring may very well be significant, these include increased:
- harmonization: one single uniform hardware platform across the core network, RAN and edge
- flexibility: RAN network functions from multiple vendors could run on the same hardware. Functionality and capacity could be more easily deployed where and when required
- cross-Domain innovation: open platform that facilitates the development of new use cases and services