The Radio Access Network (RAN) is an expensive, proprietary equipment that connects to cellular antennas, processes the signals and sends it to the core network. Service providers, who needs to stay agile to meet the growing demands of enterprise and consumers, find RANs to be a bottleneck and are moving to Open RAN and vRANs to reduce costs.

Open RAN & vRAN

Open RAN and vRAN seeks to disaggregate radio access network hardware and software on vendor-neutral platforms, allowing operators to pick from different virtualized or split RAN architectures depending on service requirements, resources, capacity, and other factors.

Open RAN opens the interface protocols between the baseband unit (BBU) and separates it into a distributed unit (DU), which processes real-time layer 1 and 2 information, and the centralized unit (CU), which processes the non-real-time data. Now only a DU is required at the base station, and one CU can server multiple base stations, further reducing costs.

Virtualizing the RAN further increases flexibility in hardware, software, and systems integration, making it easier for operators and service providers to make security enhancements, adopting agile cloud deployment principles to constantly improve performance.

Virtual Cell Site Router (vCSR)

5G networks requires a different network topology and a disaggregated virtual cell site router (vCSR) would provide high performance routing for aggregated mobile traffic with minimal CPU resource usage. A virtualized routing solution runs as a virtualized network function (VNF) to deliver high efficient routing, security, and cost effective virtual private network connectivity services.

Integrated Switching and Precision Timing

5G Open RAN networks specify the fronthaul interface partitioning the stack layers between the DU and RU, which requires not only frequency but accurate phase and tighter time synchronization. A combination of GNSS, Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE), and the IEEE-1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) equipment is needed to deliver accurate frequency, phase, and time across the network, ensuring proper end-to-end network operation.

Crypto Acceleration and TPM Hardware Security

As the shift towards Open RAN networks continues, there is an increased focus and discussion around security issues. For acceleration of cryptography and compression operations, Intel® QAT accelerates symmetric encryption and authentication, asymmetric encryption, digital signatures, RSA, DH, and ECC, and lossless data compression. Add on Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for secure crypto-processing to provide tamper resistance at the hardware level.

Source: Telecom Infra Project


Open RAN architecture creates a disaggregated and virtualized network that allows carriers to realize efficiencies and cost savings throughout the network.

Lanner’s high performance, integrated DU platform combines a server powered by Intel® architecture processor, a 10-port (8x 10G SFP+, 2x 40G QSFP+) Switch and optional IEEE 1588 timing synchronization. This system is designed to run any Open vRAN DU software and solves a number of key challenges for mobile operators – including eliminating the dedicated hardware-based CSR which reduces the footprint, cabling, power consumption and heat dissipation. It furthermore simplifies and accelerates implementation, operations and maintenance, and thereby pares down operating costs.

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