New RAN Architecture Paradigm

As we move from 2G to 3G to 4G there has been an inherent trend in the radio access network (RAN) architecture of simplifying it, making it more compact and fl at. Th e primary motive has been to enable mobile operators to maintain control on their network costs, while they deal with improving coverage and capacity. However, the sudden increase in data traffi c volumes, courtesy smart devices like the iPhone, have made it diffi cult for operators to keep a lid on network costs while they try and keep up with incessantly exploding mobile data demand from burgeoning smart devices, applications, and changing user behavior.

This calls for a new architectural paradigm that optimizes existing cell site infrastructure, most of which is macro layer enabled, but at the same time introduces new network layers at the micro-, pico- and femtocell level, that can eff ectively complement the macro layer.

This ABI Research white paper describes the emergence of this new paradigm and how compact base stations are ideally suited for this new marketplace. Its focus rests on macro, micro, and pico outdoor base station sites and does not cover indoor base stations or coverage needs.