Mavenir's future-proof SmartC-RAN Solution delivers flexible cloud technologies for Radio Access Networks

Mobile data demand continues to grow exponentially - driven by innovative devices and applications. Video traffic is expected to account for 82% of the total internet traffic by 2020 (Cisco VNI). During that time, Gartner estimates that over 26 Billion previously unconnected things will be connected to the network. The global economic impact of IoT is estimated to be $1.9 Trillion transforming how we live and interact with our environment. 

The next generation mobile networks are expected to handle significantly higher data volume, connect exponentially more devices, significantly reduce latency and bring new levels of reliability. In order to meet these demands, 11GHz of additional spectrum has already been made available by FCC and similar spectrum harmonization efforts are expected through ITU-WRC. In U.S. the new spectrum spans unlicensed, licensed and shared access in 57-71GHz, 28/37/39GHz and 3.5GHz respectively. This newly available spectrum is more than 10 times of that is currently in use below 6GHz. The technology challenges of mmWave, the shared access management and aggregation mechanisms will be critical in the evolution to 5G. On the other hand, the investment protection in the radio infrastructure will be a key consideration for the pace of adoption.  

Therefore, a flexible Radio Access Network (RAN) is a key cornerstone for this evolution. It needs to be adaptive, flexible and responsive to the evolving infrastructure needs. The RAN architecture has to incorporate the cloud and virtualization techniques to flex and adapt based on the usage and coverage. While the 5G(NR) is still being finalized, we believe it is important to create a RAN architecture that can address the needs of 4G today while being ready for 5G. Mavenir innovative SmartC-RAN solution (SmartRRUTM and SmartC-BBUTM) is designed to address this challenge. It is designed with today’s LTE network needs in mind (e.g. 3GPP Rel13 LAA & 5CCA) along with the vision for easy upgrade to 5G(NR) – providing investment protection and deployment flexibility.

Unlicensed and Shared Spectrum (3.5 to 3.7GHz)
Operators need to use their allocated spectrum optimally and share the unlicensed spectrum with other partners to cater to exponential traffic growth in the current wave of Mobile broadband. This puts huge stress on them to be efficient and to optimize spending.  With 80 percent of the current data traffic indoors and 95 percent of RAN Capex budget for outdoor there is a huge opportunity for expansion of today’s LTE network to provide coverage and capacity at a massive scale.

Mavenir has developed a cutting edge modular software platform to support current evolving technologies (LAA/LWA/LWIP) for unlicensed spectrum by combining fragmented spectrum of LTE in Licensed and Unlicensed bands (0.7 – 3.7GHz), and to support the current industry initiatives of CBRS, to bring capacity boost to Hotspots and areas with high Smartphone penetration and data consumption. This unique approach for RRU hardware with the baseband processing in the vBBU over an optimized fronthaul paves the way for 5G(NR) while providing the capabilities for current 4G networks.

Baseband Unit (SmartC-BBU)
Coupled with the SmartRRU at the Radio Access, Mavenir has also incorporated network virtualization (NFV/SDN) in the baseband processing in the cloud (SmartC-BBU). This enables network wide centralization, coordination &, scalability benefits. Our multi-RAT SmartC-BBU operates on an open hardware platform with SON bringing improved performance, capacity, adaptive interference management and efficient network load management functions. 

Next Generation Deployment with Wireless Fronthaul Solution (60GHz)
Due to expensive nature of dark fiber and non-availability of it at all locations there is a challenge to provide the coverage and high capacity to hot spots, downtown, campus, building or other important areas. Industry unique Mavenir 60GHz fronthaul wireless solution (~10Gbps) to interconnect the cluster of RRUs dispersed over a distance of 200-300m. Each RRU location can provide high speed broadband coverage to the mobile subscribers over a radius of 50-100m.

Mavenir SmartSplitTM Technology: Innovation at the Edge
In order to bring the desired gains, Mavenir SmartSplit technology can help overcome limitations of CPRI in terms of latency, overhead and non-availability of ideal front-haul.

The Mavenir solution supports Ethernet based fronthaul and can handle fronthaul delays up to 16ms RTT and can support wireless fronthaul. The Mavenir BBU/RRU supports multiple splits at the MAC/PHY interface as well as at the upper PHY. The nFAPI interface is supported to allow connection from other RRU vendors to the BBU. Asymmetrical splits are also possible which would optimally reduce the FH requirements by 2X and reducing the complexity at RRU with increased FH (but UL has less transport) can provide UL COMP gains (40 - 100%). QOS sensitive splits can help the separation of control and data plane splits with Low latency local HARQ decisions for certain QoS applications.             

Deployment Scenarios
There is no need to wait for 5G to bring Gbps speed and enhanced QoS to the mobile users. Mavenir products are designed for today’s networks and deployment scenarios, with a clear and simplified evolution path to 5G.

Network Densification: Wireless service providers can deliver the extra capacity boost and coverage in the areas of high-traffic / usage, for enhanced user experience and increased ARPU. Mavenir SmartC-RAN solutions bring a flexible radio infrastructure that adapts to the usage pattern for improved coverage and enhanced user experience.

Enterprise Customers: WiFi is already everywhere, especially in offices, industries and retail locations. Mavenir SmartC-RAN solutions bring dramatically enhanced value to the enterprises by extending WiFi connectivity to areas with no fiber or ethernet connectivity, or hard to reach places for wired connectivity e.g. parking lots, airport runways, resorts etc. The wireless fronthaul solution can control a mesh of SmartRRU to add coverage to these remote areas which are centrally controlled and optimized leading to higher performance and user experience.

Fixed Wireless: Mavenir SmartC-RAN solutions also benefit the operators worldwide to connect enterprises and residential customers (e.g. MDU) that are difficult to reach with the traditional wireline access technologies. SmartRRU connects the Customer premise equipment (CPE) over mmWave, enabling broadband services to be provided to the building, offices, campuses and industry verticals more effectively.

Installation, Maintenance and Environmental
Mavenir SmartRRUs are compact and light enough to be unobtrusively mounted on street light poles or building facades.  They can be powered by AC (105V-264V) and have a craft access through secure WiFi connectivity for installation and troubleshooting. Since SmartRRUs can be integrated and configured by zero touch and auto script downloading from the EMS which would translate into faster rollout of covered clusters.

Energy efficiency is another big bonus and our RRU design dramatically reduces power consumption by turning off unused carriers on CA, MIMO or TX.  Peak power consumption is the range of <100W.  SmartRRUs are EMI/EMC shielded and IP65 compliant with full performance operation in temperatures of -40˚C to +60˚C.

SmartRRU supports enhanced security functions of 3GPP encrypted data flows between the UE & SmartRRU, SmartC-BBU. The local craft access (on WIFI 802.11ac) is permission controlled / password protected to prevent unauthorized access.  Local GPS option tracks the deployment and working status of all the radios deployed in the field.

SmartRRU can be managed, investigated for trouble, booted up (s/w and power), and recovered remotely by Cloud EMS system with the associated configuration dumps and history.