Transition to Virtualized RAN
IT and Telco Together
Dynamic, efficient and flexible 5G networks are available with Samsung’s virtualized radio access network (vRAN).
Samsung’s vRAN liberates operators from static, hardware-bound network operations, and enables versatile, software-centric operations.
Both real-time and non-real time functions are containerized allowing operators to leverage IT advantages in a cloud environment,
including continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD), dynamic scaling, resource pooling and flexible function placement.
These benefits combined with Samsung’s technical experience and 40+ years in the telecommunications industry
will ensure service quality, enable easy and efficient network management and consequently lower operational costs.
& Efficient Networks
Samsung’s vRAN is a hardware-agnostic solution with its components running independent of hardware specifications. Operators can upgrade their network via software instantaneously with timely delivery and deployment. New technologies can be introduced and network capacity can increase without additional changes to the existing hardware. With convenient hardware maintenance and maximized lifecycles, vRAN enables operators to operate their network more efficiently. Operators can also mix-and-match the most optimal options for each network element, including container, OS, and server, and assemble them together to produce the best possible solution for their network. Samsung’s vRAN follows standard-based O-RAN for open interface between the baseband and radio to provide operators with more diverse options for their network deployment configuration.
vRAN does not require fixed resources dedicated to each RAN component during deployment. Operators can freely reallocate resources dedicated to one component to another or automatically scale-in/out vRAN components depending on changes in network traffic patterns to best utilize resources such as CPU core and memory. Resource efficiency can be maximized further through resource pooling as hardware boundary limitations are no longer an issue with virtualization. Specific components also have not only one, but a set of flavors that define the amount of resources needed to support certain capacity or performance. vRAN is available with various combination of flavors for flexible dimensioning.
The 5G era requires a network that is best suited to meet the different characteristics of new and diverse 5G services.
Samsung’s disaggregated vRAN satisfies these requirements with an independent virtualized central unit (CU) that processes non-real time functions (RRC, PDCP) for enhanced network performance and virtualized baseband that processes real time functions (RLC, MAC, PHY). This disaggregated architecture enables operators to manage their networks in a more flexible manner.
A centralized CU can improve mobility and reliability of a network. A single CU can handle multiple basebands and these basebands share RRC and PDCP resources. When handover is required between cells, basebands that share a CU do not need to go through an anchor change that occurs at the RRC and PDCP layers.
This decreases inter-gNB handover which degrades service quality. The CU can also split into a control and user plane so that 5G services are supported even though they have different characteristics. For example, with MEC or eMBB services, an operator may choose to place one control plane component at the central data center and place multiple user plane components at the edge.
State-of-the-art Virtualization Technologies
Samsung’s virtualized and disaggregated RAN architecture generates a number of benefits, from business agility and scalability to
deployment flexibility and resource usage efficiency. In order for this concept of software-based RAN to be realized, the service quality - as perceived
by the user - must remain comparable to that of a dedicated hardware-based RAN. Samsung can prevent performance degradation by applying
field-proven baseband algorithms to state-of-the-art virtualization technologies.
Real time processing performance is a guarantee with Samsung’s vRAN by adopting various virtualization techniques, including core pooling and
pinning, DPDK and SR-IOV. To cope with high computational complexity, operators may also choose to add hardware-based baseband function acceleration
on an x86 server. Basic fault recovery and redundancy features commonly achievable in the IT domain are not sufficient to meet Telco-grade reliability. Samsung’s vRAN applies enhanced or newly designed health checks, fault recovery and geo-redundancy techniques to minimize service outages.