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Open RAN
Post: #1

The vision of the OpenRAN architecture is to design radio access network architecture with the following characteristics: Flexible,Distributed,Scalable.

Such architecture would be open because it defines open, standardized interfaces at key points that in past architectures were closed and proprietary. It would be flexible because it admits of several implementations, depending on the wired network resources available in the deployment situation. It would be distributed because monolithic network elements in architectures would have been broken down into their respective functional entities, and the functional entities would have been grouped into network elements that can be realized as a distributed system. The architecture would define an interface with the core network that allows the core network to be designed independently from the RAN, preserving access network independence in the core. Finally, the architecture would not require changes in radio link protocols; in particular, a radio link protocol based on IP would not be necessary. This document presents the first steps in developing the OpenRAN vision. In its first phase, the subject of this document, the OpenRAN architecture is purely concerned with distributing RAN functions to facilitate achieving open interfaces and flexible deployment. The transport substrate for implementing the architecture is assumed to be IP but no attempts is made to optimize the use of IP protocols, nor are specific interfaces designated as open. The architecture could as well be implemented on top of existing functional architectures that maintain a strict isolation between the transport layer and radio network layer, by splitting an existing radio network layer into control and bearer parts. In addition, interoperation with existing core and RAN networks is supported via interworking functions. Chapters 7 through 11 in this report are exclusively concerned with this first phase of the architecture, and it is possible that the architecture may change as the actual implementation of the OpenRAN is considered and For Further Study items are resolved.
Post: #2
Post: #3

Cellular telephony networks depend on an extensive wired network to provide access to the radio link. The wired network, called a radio access network, provides such functions as power control and, in CDMA networks, combination of soft handoff legs (also known as macro diversity resolution) that require coordination between multiple radio base stations and multiple mobile terminals. Existing RAN architectures for cellular systems are based on a centralized radio network controller connected by point-to-point links with the radio base transceiver stations. The existing architecture is subject to a single point of failure if the RNC fails, and is difficult to expand because adding an RNC is expensive. Also, although a network operator may have multiple radio link protocols available, most RAN architectures treat each protocol separately and require a separate RAN control protocol for each. In this article we describe a new architecture, the OpenRAN architecture, based on distributed processing model with a routed IP network as the underlying transport fabric. OpenRAN was developed by the Mobile Wireless Internet Forum IP in the RAN working group. The OpenRAN architecture applies principles to the radio access network that have been successful in reducing cost and increasing reliability in data communications networks. The result is an architecture that can serve as the basis for an integrated next-generation cellular radio access network. Access to the radio link between multiple radio base stations and between mobile terminals. In this article we discuss a new architecture for mobile wireless RANs. The architecture, called the OpenRAN, is based on a distributed processing model with a routed IP network as the underlying transport fabric.

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