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Tag Archives: cloud radio access network

The Numbers are In: the Cloud is Real

By Ernest Worthman

Executive Editor, Applied  Wireless Technology

 Last year proved to be a bit of a surprise in the growth of the cloud, now that some of the yearly numbers are available. As it turns out, the final number for the cloud market in 2016 topped $148 billon on an annualized basis. And the trends shows no signs of slowing.

The major players such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft, IBM, Rackspace and Salesforce all showed significant growth in six key markets: infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS), hosted private cloud, enterprise software-as-a-service (SaaS), unified communications-as-a-service (UCaaS), public cloud and private cloud. The table below presents the data in a more detail.

Ern ChartWhat is interesting is that, in 2016, the spending on cloud services has overtaken the spending on cloud infrastructure hardware and software, according to Synergy Research Group. In aggregate, the cloud service markets are now growing three times more quickly than the cloud infrastructure hardware and software market.

According to new research data from Synergy Research, some of the XaaS segments are showing phenominal growth. The IaaS and PaaS segment experienced the highest growth rate at 53 percent. This was followed by hosted private cloud infrastructure services at 35 percent and enterprise software-as-a-service at 34 percent.

It appears that 2016 was the year that the cloud started to dominate many IT market segments. The coming year looks like it will put the cloud out there as a mainstream platform with most of the barriers to implementation becoming a thing of the past.


C-RAN Solves the HetNet Backhaul Expense Conundrum

By Ernest Worthman —

October 23, 2014 — The incorporation of small cells, DAS, remote radio heads and Wi-Fi (known collectively as HetNet) into mobile networks is bringing with it a heavy layer of complexity to the backhaul network and higher costs.

To deal with that, software-defined networks (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) solutions are being use to provide greater backhaul flexibility and cost-savings. The key here is cost-savings. NFV addresses moving from an environment that is hardware-centric and porting it to software network architecture. NVF also facilitates fast times to market for products. NFV is a carrier-driven platform and they have a huge interest in it.

An iGR Research study released during the summer examines the cost savings, both capex and opex, that mobile operators can expect when moving to SDN, NFV or cloud radio access network (C-RAN) architecture.

“The RAN and evolved packet core (EPC) are slowly becoming applications that can run on off-the-shelf IT infrastructure hosted by data center operators and other third parties,” Ian Gillott wrote.

First, current architectures where the baseband units (BBU) are deployed at the base of the cell tower must change to an architecture in which the BBUs are deployed in one (or more) centralized data centers, according to iGR. Second, the baseband functionality itself should run in virtualized software on generic computing platforms.

“This eventual architecture would divorce the 1:1 ratio between baseband and RRH, and thus give mobile operators the ability to support the same number of cell sites and sectors on less hardware. This would therefore be a true C-RAN deployment in a commercial data center,” Gillott wrote.

iGR’s market study, “Cost Considerations for Centralized RAN and Cloud RAN,” can be purchased and downloaded directly form iGR’s website: igr-inc.com


Ernest Worthman is the editor of AGL Small Cell Magazine.
J. Sharpe Smith, AGL Small Cell Link editor, contributed.