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Advantages of 5G OpenRAN | disadvantages of 5G OpenRAN

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of 5G OpenRAN. It mentions 5G OpenRAN advantages or benefits and 5G OpenRAN disadvantages or drawbacks.

What is 5G OpenRAN?

Introduction:
• 5G OpenRAN is a 5G solution which uses OpenRAN architecture.
• OpenRAN is an open ecosystem of GPP (i.e. general purpose processing) based RAN. It decouples software from hardware vendors and leverage benefits of GPP capabilities at software level and FPGA level.
• OpenRAN is a virtualised RAN solution. Virtualization refers to ability to simulate hardware platform in software. All the functionalities are separated from hardware and simulated as virtual interface with ability to operate similar to traditional hardware.

Open RAN System
Image Courtesy: blog.3g4g.co.uk

• Due to virtualised RAN architecture, 5G OpenRAN can deliver most of the 5G features such as network slicing, edge computing, NFV, massive MIMO and so on.
• Separation of software from hardware makes RAN flexible and helps operators deliver customized services more cost effectively.
• Open RAN has four major benefits compare to traditional RAN viz. software defined, unbundled (Disaggregated control/data open APIs), programmable and flexible.

Benefits or advantages of 5G OpenRAN

Following are the benefits or advantages of 5G OpenRAN:
➨It helps operators lower their CAPEX and OPEX. This is due to the fact that integration, deployment and operation of RAN are possible using components, subsystems and software available from multiple suppliers connected using open interfaces.
➨5G OpenRAN architecture is very flexible.
➨It helps operators to deliver much cost-effective services to the consumers.
➨It allows small vendors to deliver COTS hardware as per specification of telecom carrier and OEM. They will see increase in their sales where as contractors will get installation work for the same.
➨It uses GPP (General Purpose Processor). This will provide benefits as follows. Due to large volumes, economy of scale is achievable. Faster pace of innovation due to software driven approach and so on.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of 5G OpenRAN

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of 5G OpenRAN:
➨The skills to perform integration activity will be less generic. Hence carriers can call on any IT people to perform the work and people with specific OEM experience are not required any more. Due to this, speciality companies will loose the integration business.
➨GPP architecture based Open RAN systems are slower compare to SPP (Single Purpose Processor). This is due to the fact that SPP runs limited number of functions and it is optimized for specific area or algorithm.
➨GPP based Open RAN systems consume more power compare to SPP based systems.



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5G network architecture
5G NR Physical layer
5G NR MAC layer
5G NR RLC layer
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