Views: 0 Author: Curry Publish Time: 2023-11-07 Origin: Site
Open RAN is a general term for open RAN architecture, including open interfaces, virtualization and AI intelligence. OpenRAN is a project initiated by TIP, aiming to realize open RAN, and its work scope includes 2/3/4/5G.
TIP, Telecom Infra Project, a telecommunications infrastructure project, was launched by Facebook in 2016. It currently has more than 500 members, including operators, equipment vendors, chip vendors, IT vendors and system integrators, including Vodafone, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom, British Telecom, SK Telecom, Nokia, Intel and other companies are major members.
O-RAN usually refers to the O-RAN Alliance and the standards developed by the O-RAN Alliance. The O-RAN Alliance was initiated and established in February 2018 by five operators: China Mobile, AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, NTT DOCOMO and Orange. It was formed by the merger of the original C-RAN Alliance and the xRAN Forum. Among them, the C-RAN Alliance mainly Composed of Chinese companies, the xRAN forum is mainly composed of American, Japanese, Korean and European companies such as AT&T and NTT DOCOMO.
The O-RAN Alliance is composed of nine working groups (WGs), each responsible for technical research in different fields. WG1 is responsible for researching use cases and overall architecture, WG2 is responsible for researching non-real-time RIC and A1 interfaces, and WG3 is responsible for researching near-real-time RIC and E2 interfaces. WG4 is responsible for researching open fronthaul, WG5 is responsible for researching open F1/W1/E1/X2/Xn interfaces, WG6 is responsible for cloudization and orchestration, WG7 is responsible for hardware white-boxing, WG8 is responsible for software open source, and WG9 is responsible for open X-haul transmission.
What is the difference between O-RAN and OpenRAN?
Simply put, the O-RAN Alliance will develop standards to supplement the 3GPP standards; OpenRAN does not develop standards, but only promotes OpenRAN and refers to or adopts O-RAN and 3GPP specifications.
vRAN, virtualized RAN, as the name suggests, aims to promote the softwareization and programmability of RAN. Open RAN emphasizes openness, while vRAN emphasizes network function virtualization and softwareization. vRAN started with 4G RAN with dedicated interfaces and gradually expanded to 2G/3G OpenRAN and 5G OpenRAN or O-RAN.
C-RAN, or Cloud RAN, refers to vRAN built on cloud-native technologies (such as microservices, containers, and CI/CD). The C in C-RAN also means centralization, that is, centralized deployment of CUs and DUs.
What is the difference between O-RAN and 3GPP RAN architecture?
As shown in the figure above, 3GPP R15 introduces a RAN architecture that separates CU and DU, defining the E1 interface between CU-CP (control plane) and CU-UP (user plane), and the F1 interface between CU and DU.
However, O-RAN further opened up the fronthaul interface, and introduced two new controllers, Non-Real-Time RIC and Near-Real-Time RIC, in the management layer and RAN, and added A1, E2, O1, O2 and other interfaces.
SMO, Service Management and Orchestration, is similar to MANO in NFV and is responsible for managing network functions and NFVI infrastructure. Its management interfaces and management contents are as follows:
O1 interface: Responsible for managing network functions (vNF), including configuration, alarms, performance, security management, etc.
O2 interface: Responsible for managing the resources and load management of the cloud platform (o-cloud).
M-Plane interface: Responsible for O-RU management.
Other interface functions:
A1: Transmit network or UE level information from eNB/gNB to Non-Real-Time RIC to optimize the network and ensure SLA.
E2: The interface between Near-Real-Time RIC and CU/DU, responsible for transmitting measurement reports from CU/DU and sending configuration commands to CU/DU.
RIC, the full name is Radio intelligent controller, wireless intelligent controller. As the name suggests, it achieves automated and intelligent RAN operation and maintenance through the introduction of AI.
Non-Real-Time RIC refers to the non-real-time part, which is responsible for processing services that require a delay greater than 1 second, such as data analysis, AI model training, etc.
Near-Real-Time RIC refers to the near-real-time part, which is responsible for processing services with latency requirements less than 1 second (50ms-200ms), such as wireless resource management, handover decision-making, dual connection control, load balancing, etc.
The Non-Real-Time RIC is located within the SMO. It collects all-domain relevant data from the RAN and application servers, performs data analysis and AI training, and delivers inferences and policies through the A1 interface and deploys them to the Near-Real-Time RIC.
Near-Real-Time RIC is located within the RAN and is responsible for collecting and analyzing the real-time information of the RAN, combining it with the additional or global information provided by the Non-Real-Time RIC, and through the reasoning models and policies issued by the Non-Real-Time RIC, real-time Monitor and predict network and user behavior changes, and adjust RAN parameters in real time according to policies (such as QoE targets), including adjusting resource allocation, priority, handover, etc. For example, if it predicts that network congestion is about to occur, Near-RT RIC adjusts network parameters in real time based on reasoning to prevent congestion.
Several xAPPs are included in Near-Real-Time RIC.
xAPP is an application that can be deployed independently by a third party. It deploys AI inference models and strategies in it, and different xAPPs are associated with different RAN functions, making the RAN functional components flexible programmable and scalable.
In short, O-RAN introduces Non-Real-Time RIC and Near-Real-Time RIC, which can work together to proactively optimize network load balancing, mobility management, multi-connection control, QoS management, network energy saving and other functions based on AI. and adjustments to ultimately achieve network intelligence and automation.
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