Advantages of CRAN (Cloud RAN) | disadvantages of CRAN (Cloud RAN)

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of CRAN (Cloud RAN). It mentions CRAN (Cloud RAN) advantages or benefits and CRAN (Cloud RAN) disadvantages or drawbacks.

What is CRAN (Cloud RAN)?

• CRAN stands for Cloud Radio Access Network.
• It was difficult to manage and monitor distributed sites in traditional network. Hence C-RAN has been introduced which allows centralized site management and monitoring.
• Due to less equipments CRAN does not occupy much space and hence will save energy dissipation cost and rental cost.
• It delivers improved operational efficiency.

Cloud RAN

The figure-1 depicts Cloud RAN or centralized RAN architecture. Instead of separate individual BBUs at every distributed locations used in traditional RAN, CRAN uses one centralised BBU (known as C-BBU). This centralised BBU is interfaced with distributed RRHs using CPRI interface. C-BBU is interfaced with IPAG using optical link. It is centralised and cloud computing based architecture. It supports multiple wireless standard based technologies such as 3G, 3G and 4G. Due to its characteristics such as clean, centralised processing, collaborative radio and real time, it is also known by C-RAN. It is also referred by centralized RAN. Refer difference between traditional RAN vs cloud RAN >> for more information.

Benefits or advantages of CRAN (Cloud RAN)

Following are the benefits or advantages of CRAN (Cloud RAN):
➨Due to less equipments, it requires less civil work and leads to fast deployment.
➨It supports enhanced capacity and coverage.
➨It can be easily self optimized, self configured and self adaptable using SDN/NFV based on need.
➨It can control operational costs due to less energy consumtion and savings in rental costs due to less number of equipments.
➨It improves network security due to centralized and limited access to the network.
➨Optimizes CAPEX and OPEX for the network operators.
➨It offers concise network topology and allows smooth evolution.
➨It reduces cell interference and hence improves user experience.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of CRAN (Cloud RAN)

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of CRAN (Cloud RAN):
➨High Fronthaul capacities are needed to address higher bandwidth requirements between BBUs (Base-Band Units) and RRUs (Remote Radio Units). Optical fiber is used to solve this requirements.
➨BBU co-operation is needed to share user data, scheduling and channel feedback collection. This cooperation is not defined to deal with user privacy, low latency and high bandwidth communication between BBUs.
➨One centralized BBU should support maximum number of channels (Transmit/Receive). At the same time, it should maintain minimum fronthaul delay and overhead.

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