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Thursday, December 27, 2018

Radio access network -

The radio access network (RAN) has been in use since the beginning of cellular technology and has evolved through the generations of mobile communications 

The radio access network (RAN) has been in use since the beginning of cellular technology and has evolved through the generations of mobile communications 

Radio Access Network

Radio Access Network Basics

In a RAN, radio sites provide radio access and coordinate management of resources across the radio sites. A device is wirelessly connected to the core network, and the RAN transmits its signal to various wireless endpoints, and the signal travels with other networks’ traffic.
Two types of radio access networks are Generic Radio Access Network (GRAN), which uses base transmission stations and controllers to manage radio links for circuit-switched and packet-switched core networks; and GSM Edge Radio Access Network (GERAN), which supports real-time packet data. Two other types of radio access networks are UMTS Terrestrial Radio Access Network (UTRAN), which supports both circuit-switched and packet-switched services; and Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access Network (E-UTRAN), which focuses only on packet-switched services. E-UTRAN also provides high data rates and low latency.

Radio Access Network Controller

The RAN’s controller controls the nodes that are connected to it. The network controller performs radio resource management, mobility management, and data encryption. It connects to the circuit-switched core network and the packet-switched core network, depending on the type of RAN.
Today’s RAN architectures — particularly in digitally transformed networks — separate the user plane from the control plane into different network elements. In this scenario, the RAN controller can exchange user data messages through one software-defined networking (SDN) switch, and a second set with base stations via a second control-based interface. This separation of the control plane and data plane will be an essential aspect of the flexible 5G radio access network, as it aligns with SDN and network functions virtualization (NFV) techniques such as service chaining and network slicing.

Radio Access Network Evolution

Radio access networks have experienced much evolution since their origins, to the point at which today’s radio access networks support multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antennas, large spectrum bandwidths, multi-band carrier aggregation, and so on — all of which bodes well for the 5G future.

How Will the 5G Network Impact LTE?

Today’s LTE, LTE-A (advanced), and LTE-A Pro are all part of the 4G LTE ecosystem that will serve as a stepping stone to 5G. According to a June 2017 “State of LTE” report from OpenSignal, although the industry is turning its attention toward the 5G network, there is still plenty of activity surrounding LTE. In fact, 5G will rely on LTE variants as the new standard gradually comes into prominence.
LTE-A, LTE-A Pro — and Gigabit LTE in particular — will likely work in conjunction with 5G.  LTE-A is available now on a number of devices, supported by such carriers as AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon. LTE-A Pro, an evolution from LTE-A, began to make gigabit mobile broadband a reality, and Gigabit LTE foreshadows the kind of performance and functionality that the industry is waiting for in 5G—including multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) antenna and small cell technology.
How Will the 5G Network Impact LTE?
Source: Android Authority

On the Way to the 5G Network, LTE Reigns

Today’s LTE will lay the foundation for 5G networks, which are expected to deliver speeds of up to 10-Gb/s. The increasing speeds associated with evolving 4G LTE variants will give consumers valuable experience with very-high-throughput applications before the 5G network becomes a reality. The Internet of Things (IoT) market, for example, is already on its way to fruition — years before 5G — thanks to LTE.
Additionally, LTE is setting itself up as a viable alternative to 5G until that standard is more available. The availability of gigabit-level speeds in this realm will offer a comparable networking experience on existing technology:
  • LTE-A. LTE-A uses carrier aggregation to achieve higher speeds. By using multiple LTE bands at the same time, an LTE-A device experiences greater bandwidth, enhanced capacity, and increased speed. LTE-A also includes ongoing improvements in interference, cell coverage, and system throughput. LTE-A also introduced the use of low-complexity user equipment for IoT applications.
  • LTE-A Pro. LTE-A Pro takes advantage of unlicensed spectrum and common Wi-Fi networks to increase speed even further. Carriers can use unlicensed spectrum either standalone or aggregated with licensed spectrum, thereby more effectively using cellular resources. A key capability of LTE-A Pro is enabling Gigabit LTE, which finally leads the way for futuristic use cases such as augmented reality (AR)/virtual reality (VR).
  • LTE-U. LTE-U refers to LTE technology that specifically takes advantage of unlicensed 5GHz frequenciesused by WiFi.

The 5G-LTE Future

Advances in 4G LTE — in particular, LTE-A Pro — are allowing operators to continue upgrading their networks while they test the 5G waters. Only through incremental investment will many of these operators be able to make 5G a reality.

Will 5G Replace WiFi?

Will 5G Replace WiFi?

The 5G standard promises to embody a mobile-connectivity revolution, providing enhanced broadband connectivity and speed for a wide swath of customers. As we approach that future, an increasing number of people are debating whether the 5G standard will replace WiFi — through the sheer force of its strength and ubiquity — or otherwise cause problems with WiFi networks.
This 5G WiFi debate depends on the supposition that the two technologies will somehow merge onto the same track as the industry coalescences into next-gen communications. But in reality, many experts believe that 5G and WiFi will continue along their current, differentiated paths for the foreseeable future.

With 5G, WiFi Isn’t Going Anywhere

There are many reasons why 5G will continue the 4G interoperability methodology. First, from a consumer point of view, billions of existing and forthcoming WiFi-only devices such as tablets, entertainment systems, and computer peripherals will not be going anywhere soon. As for business cases, enterprises will continue to value the availability of WiFi connections as part of a multi-connectivity scenario for services such as Software-Defined Wide Area Network (SD-WAN).
Here are some other reasons by WiFi will continue to thrive even with the launch of 5G:
  • The Wi-Fi market is growing, not shrinking. According to a MarketsandMarkets report, the global WiFi market will be worth 33.6 billion by 2020. WiFi traffic, from both mobile and WiFi-only devices, will account for more than 50 percent of total IP traffic by that time.
  • WiFi understands dense deployments. The 5G future is dense. Grids will be composed of small cells and ubiquitous antenna to enhance capacity and coverage—a scenario that WiFi already understands.

5G WiFi Coexistence

WiFi will likely coexist with 5G, and be a key part of many 5G use cases.
Ericsson CTO Ulf Ewaldsson recently spoke with SDxCentral about the concept of Evolved WiFi—the notion that because majority of wireless traffic is on WiFi, WiFi must evolve to accommodate the 5G future. “We need to embrace unlicensed spectrum,” he said. “We do have an eye toward evolving Evolved WiFi to 5G and making 5G part of the WiFi world.” Through the company’s partnership with Cisco, Ericsson has committed to providing WiFi solutions of the highest quality performance and reliability.

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