Etisalat by e& has completed multiple Cloud RAN (Radio Access Network) trials, introducing network innovation and agility to operators and enterprises. These trials, reportedly conducted for the first time in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region, aim to enhance performance within the 5G ecosystem, focusing on ultra-reliable and low-latency communications.
As 5G networks evolve toward cloud-native architecture, the adoption of Cloud RAN becomes a key enabler of this transformation. The trials represent a major leap in RAN innovation and openness, allowing seamless interoperability between cellular network equipment from different vendors.
Marwan bin Shakar, Senior Vice President, Access Network Development, Etisalat by e&, said: “We are excited to announce our successful proof of concepts of Cloud RAN solutions. This is a great milestone in the journey of innovation within our industry to leverage the inter-operability and tailored nature of Cloud RAN, as we further embrace our commitment to provide our customers with the latest in digital innovations and enhanced experiences. The Cloud RAN solution will allow us to further innovate our services to expand into different real-time applications and provide the best solutions with high-speeds and lower latencies.”
Cloud RAN, as a new radio access technology based on centralised cloud computing, offers flexibility in RAN deployment on the same infrastructure that runs other cloud-based applications. This provides scalability to meet traffic demand, cost-efficiency in both capital and operational expenses, and power efficiency, fostering innovation within the 5G ecosystem.
The architecture of Cloud RAN supports open and interoperable RAN interfaces, employing cloud-based software solutions for the baseband computing system. The baseband computing functionality is divided into Distributed Unit (DU) and Centralised Unit (CU), fully cloud-native and utilising “Commercial-off-the-Shelf” (COTS) servers.
Additionally, etisalat by e& has tested and verified the performance of another critical element related to the Hardware Acceleration Technology used in Cloud RAN, known as lookaside and in-line acceleration for the L1 physical layer processing.