5G RIC - RAN Intelligent Controller

With the evolution and advancements in 4G & 5G RAN architecture e.g. CUPS, Layer Function split concept and virtualization, made it possible to use SDN concepts into the mobile infrastructure.

SDN enables possibilities to combine the capabilities in order to enable configuration, optimization and control from centralized location or aggregation points for the underlying RAN infrastructure. This way now 4G eNB or 5G gNB functionalities like mobility management, admission control, interference management can be exposed as Software Apps to be available at northbound interface.

The Software Apps can be used as plug-ins with the help RAN controller, and their policies can be enforced via southbound interface towards eNB/gNB. Such architecture enables unprecedented means for controlling radio resources in comprehensive way.

So we can say that RAN Intelligent Control aka RIC is a suite of Software Apps to enable SDN functionalities in open RAN networks.

RIC is basically responsible for all RAN operation and optimization procedure like radio connection management, mobility management, QoS management, edge services, and interference management, radio resource management, higher layer procedure optimization, policy optimization in RAN, and providing guidance, parameters, policies and AI/ML models to support the best effective network operation.

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