A Virtual Baseband Unit (vBBU) Provides the Scalability Needed to Increase Capacity

Building and maintaining a wireless network is a CAPEX and OPEX intensive business for most operators. For rural operators, investing in capital and recurring operational expenses represents a bigger challenge to extend wireless services to rural America.

Over the years we have seen a number of standardized features like MOCN and MORAN to help facilitate network sharing models to lower capital expenditures.

At the Competitive Carrier Association (CCA) Mobile Carriers Show 2016 it was remarkable to see the sheer number of service providers who are in the business of providing innovative solutions to help support a viable business model to many rural carriers. Through different hosting models, such as sharing Core Network Nodes and various Network Management functions, these service providers are increasingly becoming business partners with rural operators. This relationship ensures mutual success by offering cost effective alternatives to build and maintain wireless networks thus improving services and quality of experience to end users.

Today, hosting core network functions can be further extended by deploying a virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN) and pooling LTE baseband resources using commercial off the shelf (COTS) hardware. A virtualized RAN system results in substantially lower CAPEX costs, which make providing mobile broadband service to less populated areas economically sustainable.

A virtual Baseband unit (vBBU) provides the scalability needed to increase capacity as more rural operators become part of the hosted vBBU cluster.

As regional and rural operators look to the next phase to deploy LTE Advanced Features and support for IoT services, a vBBU in a central location will further provide great benefits to a hosted model including:

  • Lowering cost to sustain competitive services
  • Providing flexibility and scalability to adapt and meet traffic demands
  • Speed and time to market by focusing on adding radios where coverage and capacity are needed
  • Tighter collaboration between RAN/Core and RAN/applications will facilitate more options in the future for real time critical applications
  • Deployment of the virtualized network functions beyond just RAN, e.g. vEPC, vHSS, vIMS, vSDN on a carrier-grade NFV platform.

About the Author: Sam Charaf

Sam CharafSam is the Director Business Development, New Sales at Altiostar. He has over 19 years of achievements in Telecom Industry including MBA / MS Telecom / BSEE. Sam has a proven track record of growing new business, driving profitability and customer satisfaction.