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xRAN Forum Releases Open Fronthaul Interface Specs

3 months ago
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xRAN Forum Releases Open Fronthaul Interface Specs Image Credit: xRAN

The xRAN Forum (xRAN) announced the release of the xRAN Fronthaul Specification Version 1.0 – the first specification made publicly available from xRAN since its launch in October 2016.

The specification has been designed to allow a wide range of vendors to develop innovative, best-of-breed RRUs (remote radio unit) and BBUs (baseband unit) for a wide range of deployment scenarios, which can be easily integrated with virtualized infrastructure & management systems using standardized data models.

The xRAN Forum fosters a growing ecosystem of innovative and interoperable RAN products catering to the varied needs of the Forum’s operator members. Interfaces defined by the xRAN Fronthaul Specification enable efficient deployment of advanced technologies like Massive MIMO & Virtualized RAN with support for LTE and NR. The xRAN Fronthaul Specification addresses several key operator-defined requirements, including:

 - BBU – RU interoperability based on well specified control, user and management plane interfaces.

 - Efficient bandwidth scaling as a function of user throughput and spatial layers to address increasing bandwidth needs and Massive MIMO deployments.

 - Support for LTE, NR, associated features, 2T – 8T RU products and Massive MIMO beamforming antenna systems.

 - Advanced receivers and co-ordination functions.Ethernet based transport layer solutions.

 - Extensible data models for management functions to simplify integration.

Bill Stone, VP, Network Technology Development and Planning, Verizon
xRAN compliant radios coupled with virtualized basebands provide much needed flexibility to support rapid development and deployment of RAN products. By adopting xRAN specifications, we will be able to speed innovation, increase collaboration, and be more agile to a quickly evolving market.

Andre Fuetsch, CTO and President, AT&T Labs
Equipment that supports open specifications from xRAN (and ORAN in the future), combined with increasing RAN virtualization and data-driven intelligence, will allow carriers to reduce complexity, innovate more quickly and significantly reduce deployment and operational costs.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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