Ed serves as Senior Analyst for Mobile Access Infrastructure in the Current Analysis Service Provider Infrastructure Group. He focuses on tracking, analyzing and reporting on developments impacting mobile infrastructure and mobile networking: 2G and 3G RAN and packet core along with, LTE, metro-scale Wi-Fi and WiMAX.
C-RAN’s adoption is likely to grow significantly soon, thanks in part to evolutions in the underlying technologies.
Long term, future RANs will see a dynamic mix of centralized and distributed functions.
In 2016, we’re likely to hear even more about C-RAN than we already have. It’s not a new concept, and plenty of operators have deployed mobile access network architectures in which the baseband processing units are centralized, stacked or pooled, linked to remote radio units elsewhere. As portions of the network become increasingly virtualized, baseband processing will become virtualized, too – thus, centralized RAN will evolve into cloud RAN. This won’t happen everywhere, of course, but its use is likely to spread thanks in part to some significant advancements in C-RAN technology coming soon. Continue reading “C-RAN Is About to Get More Serious, but No, the RAN Will Never Disappear into the Cloud”→
Recent trends illustrate how influential WiFi remains in the enterprise small-cell space.
Small-cell vendors must align their view of technologies, partners and competitors with this dynamic.
As RAN vendors continue with an attempt to kick in the door to the enterprise small-cell market, one of the primary dynamics influencing these efforts is WiFi’s dominance in enterprise environs. This is largely what led Cisco to use its WiFi market footprint to compete in the small-cell space, of course. But, even in late 2015, after years of driving the enterprise small-cell value proposition, some players are shifting their thinking toward an even greater respect for the importance of WiFi in this business. For example: Continue reading “WiFi Continues to Shape the Enterprise Small-Cell Space”→
• Many of the newest small-cell products are radio units, coinciding with larger trends around C-RAN and 5G
• This trend poses challenges for the consolidating RAN-vendor landscape and could create opportunity for outsiders
Small cells, C-RAN and 5G are some of the most talked-about topics in mobile access infrastructure today, but how do they intersect? For starters, here’s one way:
Many of the most recently introduced small-cell products are actually radio units (RUs) that connect externally to baseband units (BBUs) rather than the all-in-one base stations (with BBU and RU in one box). Nokia, for example, announced its 2×5 W Metro RRH 2100 MHz in late 2014. Ericsson included the Micro Radio 2203 as part of the new Ericsson Radio System portfolio it unveiled in Q1 2015. ZTE introduced its R8402 “Pad RRU” around the same time. More recently, Huawei began promoting its 5 kg “Book RRU.” Continue reading “Why Many of the Newest Small-cell Products Are Radio Units – And Why It Matters”→
Overcoming enterprise small-cell obstacles requires changing existing paradigms and business models.
Some vendors and operators have already begun accepting new business models, but convincing enterprises, venue owners – even some operators – could be tough.
You have to sympathize with enterprise small-cell vendors. Who knows how many months they have dedicated to R&D, product management, standards work, testing, trialing, marketing – all promising operators the prospect of bringing coverage and capacity to a place where a huge portion of human communication begins and ends. And yet, when operators approach enterprises with these innovative solutions, in many cases they’re likely to be met with just four frustrating words: “We’ve already got WiFi.” Continue reading “The Challenge Facing Enterprise Small Cells: Changing Minds”→