As I wrote in my last column, C-RAN is emerging as an important new radio access technology for operators that are looking to deploy LTE Advanced and, a decade from now, perhaps also 5G. (See C-RAN Blazes a Trail to True 4G.)
Standing for both Centralized RAN and Cloud RAN, the C-RAN concept is based around the idea of a centralized baseband processing pool serving distributed remote radio units (RRUs). The idea is that through tightly coordinated radio resource management across RRUs operators can achieve better system performance than if resources are coordinated via external X2 interfaces between standalone basestations. Better cell edge performance, in particular, is considered a key advantage of the technology.
It is still early days, however, and proving the benefits of C-RAN, and then working out how the architecture can apply to different use-cases in different market contexts, remains a work in progress. I've written a Heavy Reading report discussing these issues entitled "C-RAN & LTE Advanced: The Road to 'True 4G' & Beyond" (available here).
And tomorrow (Wednesday November 13) at 12 Noon EST Light Reading will host a special editorial webinar on the topic with a guest speaker from China Mobile.
China Mobile is at the forefront of C-RAN research and system development and is leading industry efforts to develop viable and commercially attractive deployment models. The speaker will be Clark Chen, senior researcher, Wireless and Network, China Mobile US Research Center, and one of the world's foremost experts on the topic.
To register for this free webinar, "C-RAN -- The Next Generation Mobile Access Platform," click here: http://webinar.lightreading.com/15151.
We already have over 500 registrants for the session. You'll be in good company.
— Gabriel Brown, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading