C-RAN – Cloud RAN
C-RAN is the term given to a RAN infrastructure which has been virtualized. C-RAN deployment typically see the processing capabilities of the cell site reduced, with the majority of the cell site protocol stack aggregated into a more centralized NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) solution. Consequently, all that remains at the cell site is physical layer (radio) capabilities, with functions such as baseband processing, scheduling and handovers all processed within a VNF (Virtualized Network Function) elsewhere in the network. In order to ensure scheduling and handovers are successful, latency between the cell site and the VNF must be minimised.
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