Perfect RAN or perfect edge: the Open RAN dilemma facing operators

18 January 2023 | Research

Caroline Chappell Caroline Gabriel

Strategy report | PPTX and PDF (22 slides) | Edge and Media Platforms| Next-Generation Wireless Networks


"The perfect distributed edge cloud infrastructure, which can support both virtualised RAN and emerging high-value use cases, does not yet exist but operators can prepare for an edge-driven RAN if they take the right steps."

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Operators are starting to assess their options for migrating to vRAN or Open RAN architectures. The ‘perfect’ edge cloud architecture for Open RAN and next-generation industrial applications is experimental and compromises radio performance. Operators must strike a balance between having an ideal edge infrastructure and having the best radio network, while keeping commercial priorities and enterprise customers in mind.

Key questions answered in this report

  • What is the best balance between hyper-distributed edge cloud and high-performance radio for different 5G business models?
  • What are the advantages of the very edge-centric architecture and what do early case studies teach us?
  • What are the trade-offs that may have to be made in the RAN and how can they be mitigated?
  • What technical and deployment advances are required to improve the balance for future deployments?

Top-three drivers for operator adoption of an edge-centric vRAN or Open RAN, worldwide, 2Q 2022

Top-three drivers for operator adoption of an edge-centric vRAN or Open RAN, worldwide, 2Q 2022

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