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C-RAN Solution Expected to Lower the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Wireless Networks by 40%

Wed, 02/16/2011 - 6:17am
SHENZHEN, China -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”) launched today at Mobile World Congress 2011 a next generation C-RAN (Cloud of Radio Access Network) wireless networking solution, which is future-proof for the next 10 years.

The new C-RAN solution, which was first introduced by CMCC, will dramatically lower both CAPEX (Capital Expenditure) and OPEX (Operational Expenditure) for operators and greatly reduce power consumption through its new wireless-access network architecture. The solution is expected to lower the TCO (total cost of ownership) of wireless networks by 40%.

ZTE believes that while creating new wireless broadband services for customers, it is a priority to also lower the per-bit data costs. Compared to equipment costs, such as chips and single boards, the percentage of costs associated with station sites, computer room and day-to-day operation is often over 60%. Therefore, delivering innovation at the wireless architectural level is more impactful, as operators need a new generation of the C-RAN solutions.

To this end, ZTE took the lead in China to explore the C-RAN solution together with CMCC, to develop a new generation of wireless access networks through centralized processing, collaborative radio, real-time cloud infrastructure, clean system (green wireless access network architecture), and cloud computing.

As the first company in the industry to realize dynamic baseband sharing, ZTE is actively promoting its application by tackling key C-RAN technologies. For example, using Colored Fiber Connection, it has solved the problem associated with the consumption of LTE optic fiber resource, completed the Phase I prototype of LTE Advanced CoMP, and deployed this with a number of Chinese operators.

ZTE’s C-RAN solution is the first to realize the separation of the Remote Radio Unit (RRU) and the Baseband Unit (BBU) on the wireless side, and has completed the centralized evolution from base-stations to base-station clusters. On this basis, it can further improve coordination between the stations in a base-station cluster through the upgrade of BBU, and to realize the coordination between the base-station clusters through the interconnection of large-capacity BBUs. The BBU infrastructure can be built using the general IT platform, to realize equipment virtualization and super-strong scheduling ability through cloud computing and go on to realize the deep integration between the telecom industry and the IT industry.

Past trials have demonstrated that C-RAN architecture based on similar ideals can realize “large-capacity and small number of nodes”, to dramatically reduce the CAPEX for operators. In the case of CMCC (in which only a small number of new pipelines and optical cables need to be deployed, due to the number of pipelines already in use), the C-RAN architecture can reduce the access network’s CAPEX by about 20% and reduce its OPEX by about 63%, reducing the 10-year TCO by about 40%, and reducing the construction cycle by 1/3. At the same time, it can reduce power consumption by over 80% compared to the traditional macro base-stations.

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