February 11, 2016 — It is well known that enterprises are very cost sensitive when it comes to deploying small cells. OEMs are aggressively trying to crack the nut of enterprise wireless economics. Network function virtualization (NFV) and software-defined networking (SDN) are being used to simplify and cut the costs of wireless deployments in the enterprise. The goal, it would appear, is to make cellular deployments as cheap and easy as Wi-Fi.
The 3GPP-compliant end-to-end Enterprise Virtualized RAN (vRAN) solution, recently introduced by Parallel Wireless is designed to do just that. The solution, based on the cellular access point (CAP)/enterprise femto reference designs that use Intel technology, integrates 3G, 4G/LTE, and Wi-Fi with real-time network orchestration, flexible scheduling, interference mitigation, resource optimization, traffic prioritization and enterprise-grade security.
“Indoor coverage remains a major issue because small cells are much more complex, expensive, and time-consuming to deploy and manage than Wi-Fi solutions,” Jake Wright, Parallel Wireless marketing specialist, wrote in a web blog. “The two market inflection points of Moore’s Law (where a single system on chip can enable multi-mode enterprise small cells at much lower cost) and virtualization (where any enterprise orchestration functionality can be virtualized on any server) will drive down this cost and complexity.”
The vRAN solution uses Parallel Wireless’ HetNet Gateway, which is a multi-mode network orchestrator that virtualizes many gateway functions onto one platform. It provides all the needed gateway functionalities and enables management of these functions. As a result, the Enterprise vRAN is not only self-configuring, but self-optimizing and self-healing.
“Enterprise networks of today and tomorrow require several different gateway functionalities. To help reduce the cost of employing several different gateway functions (including femto, small cell, Wi-Fi, and security gateways, just to name a few) the network controller should virtualize many gateways onto one platform,” Wright wrote. “Doing so would enable enterprise vRANs for a much lower cost as operators need only employ one box, rather than say five to 10.”