With the availability of 5G specifications (e.g. CUPS, function split concept), omnipresent virtualization platforms, and the introduction of SDN concept into the mobile infrastructure (RAN virtualization) it will become possible to combine the capabilities together in order to enable configuration, optimization and control of the underlying RAN infrastructure from centralized location (or aggregation points). This way it is possible now to expose eNB/gNB functionalities as X-Apps (i.e. SD-RAN controller applications available on northbound interface). Such applications (e.g. mobility management, admission control, interference management) are available as plug-ins for the SD-RAN controller, that enforces their policies via southbound interface towards base stations. Providing such architecture enables unprecedented means for controlling radio resources in comprehensive way.
Figure IS-Wireless’ RAN Controller.
Centralization of RRM processing gives flexibility towards selection of algorithms and their customization and also increases the level of coordination between particular eNBs/gNBs. Ultimately this approach enables essential benefits for interference cancellation, which directly leads to implementing networks according to so called “Cell-less” paradigm. According to this paradigm mobile networks, controlled by centralized RAN-controllers have the possibility to deliver interference free experiences to its users. Radio protocols can be placed flexibly in arbitrary parts of the network (core, edge, on site) based on the service type (eMBB, URRLC, mMTC).
IS-Wireless RAN Controller provides the following features:
- SDN-like management of mobile network infrastructure (RAN, Core)
- single point of entry for network configuration and optimization of the underlying mobile network (or its part)
- REST API compliant, network applications deployment (e.g. RRM, interference cancellation, admission control)
- broad set of standard compliant southbound interfaces to communicate with multiple eNBs (4G, 5G) and access-points (WiFi)
- universal approach to optimization and efficient utilization of different radio technologies (i.e. multi-RAT compliance, cell-less)
- ORAN compliant interfaces