What is C-RAN (Cloud RAN)?

C-RAN ( Centralized Radio Access Network) is an architecture for cellular networks. As the data traffic is growing day by day, there is a huge burden on the radio access networks, so in order to meet these demands, operators are adopting a solution which is known as CRAN or centralized RAN. It is also known as Cloud RAN. This new approach to network architecture has advantages like it has reduced CAPEX/OPEX for operators and has improved user experience through less interference.

Areas where the concentrations of network users are very high or it is increasing day by day put high stress on the base stations that serve them. Adding more base stations increases cost and can lead to signal interference if the number of base stations is not properly coordinated. Using C-RAN solutions simplifies the RRM (Radio Resource Management) in complex radio environments like Hetnets or CA (Carrier Aggregation). It will be a cost-effective solution and it will better utilize the resources as well. C-RAN is a centralized, cloud computing-based architecture for radio access networks that supports 2G, 3G, 4G, and future wireless communications standards.

The main characteristics of a C-RAN system are clean, centralized processing, collaborative radio, and a real-time cloud radio access network. It uses the latest CPRI standard, dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology and mmWave to allow transmission of baseband signal over the long-distance thus it can achieve large-scale centralized base station deployment. The new data center network technology has been adopted to allow a low cost, high reliability, low latency, and a high bandwidth interconnect network in the baseband unit pool.