Radio access network
The external interfaces of the radio access network (RAN) domain are standardized under 3GPP, as is the functional behavior of the RAN domain as a whole. Below the high-level specification, 3GPP leaves room for innovation to enhance the network with RAN-internal value-add features — a flexibility that has resulted in continuous improvement in many areas, including spectrum efficiency, energy efficiency, and enhancements to service characteristics.
To determine the optimal architectural split, the RAN architecture needs to be examined with a finer level of granularity than that offered by 3GPP. Based on function and interface characteristics, preferred execution environment, and spectrum efficiency, a target functional composition is defined by several RAN nodes.
Components and characteristics
RAN architecture is enhanced with the following nodes to achieve an optimal split: