My friend: Hi Ibrahim, I have a question for you.
- Me: Please, go ahead.
My friend: I was wondering what is meant by O-Cloud in Open RAN?
- Me: O-Cloud simply refers to a set of hardware and software components that provide cloud computing capabilities to execute the RAN network functions. Also, you have to note that the Cloud software is decoupled from the Cloud hardware (i.e., both cloud hardware and software can typically be sourced from different vendors).
My friend: So, which RAN functions can be deployed over the O-Cloud?
- Me: Many RAN functions can be deployed over the O-Cloud such as O-DU, O-CU-CP, O-CU-UP, O-eNB, near-RT RIC, and non-RT RIC. So, all these RAN functions can be deployed as a software running on any COTS hardware from any vendor.
My friend: But all these RAN functions will need different requirements. So, how can all of it be deployed over O-Cloud?
- Me: Actually, these various RAN functions are having completely different requirements, so it depends on each function. For example, any RAN function that involves real-time handling of user traffic will require the cloud to control for delay, which may in turn require features such as real time OSs (Operating Systems), avoidance of frequent interrupts, etc. Also, these different RAN functions can be deployed at different locations based on the service required, so O-Cloud can be used in these different locations to meet any service needs as shown at the below snapshot which is showing deployment of virtual O-DU (vO-DU), and virtual O-CU-UP2 (vO-CU-UP2) over O-Cloud in the Edge Cloud near from the cell site to support the URLLC service and also deploying another vO-CU-UP1 over O-Cloud as well at the Regional Cloud far from the cell site to support the eMBB and mMTC services which are not latency sensitive.
My friend: Thank you so much. You made it very clear.
- Me: You are most welcome.