The Evolution of the Cell Site: Moving to CRAN
Over the past four decades, cellular systems have evolved considerably but they are all built on the same basic components: subscriber/user devices; wireless/cellular licensed spectrum; cell sites which have antennas, radios, baseband units, and power supplies; connections that provide the wired links between the cell site radio equipment and the rest of the network; and a mobile core (Evolved Packet Core).
As the subscriber base continues to grow strongly around the world, it is clear to the wireless industry that the next evolution of networks is required – 5G. The main driver of this evolution is the ever-increasing demand for mobile data capacity.
iGR believes that four fundamental changes will change the basic architecture of the mobile networks in the next few years: massive densification with more small cells, the evolution of the RAN to CRAN, the deployment of mobile edge computing (MEC) solutions at the edge of the network, and the creation of a “network of networks.”
This white paper discusses the historical evolution of cell sites and how the mobile network will continue to evolve to 5G.