Where can MNOs start cloudifying their 5G networks, RAN or Core?

  • My friend: Hi Ibrahim, I have a question for you.

    • Me: Go ahead, please.
  • My friend: I can see that a lot of MNOs are moving towards Telco Cloud, but I don’t know which part of the network should they start with, RAN or Core?

    • Me: Usually, MNOs start with the core as simply it has less no. of nodes, around 10 or 20 core locations, unlike RAN which can have up to 100K locations. So, core network has very few nodes that are centralized, while RAN has huge no. of nodes that are highly distributed, so cloudifying core network was much simpler and easier to start with.
  • My friend: So, RAN will be based on cloud in distributed cell sites, while core will reside on the cloud in centralized locations, right?

    • Me: It doesn’t mean necessarily that both will be separated specially with 5G where core can be distributed and RAN can be centralized, also both RAN and core can meet at the Edge and live there together :blush:. The idea is to have a common cloud stack running on COTS HW that can be used for both RAN and core, then this common cloud solution can be implemented in central locations, Edge, or even at the customer-premises, so there is no specific location to build this cloud solution.
  • My friend: But do RAN and core have same requirements in Cloud?

    • Me: No, both can have different requirements as for example, core needs to have more networking interfaces and deals with millions of IPs for mobile subscribers, while RAN requires lower latency as it deals with many real-time services. Also, RAN needs high computing specially at L1. But the cloud solution should provide the requirements needed from both RAN and core to guarantee the high performance.
  • My friend: Thank you very much, you made it very clear.

    • Me: You are most welcome.

LinkedIn: :point_down:

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