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AT&T waves the banner for new C-RAN and small cell architectures

Cloud-RAN (or Centralized-RAN) can inject new efficiency and flexibility by virtualizing the functions of a RAN and allowing large numbers of large or small cells to share a common baseband resource in the cloud. That, however, has limitations when it comes to low latency, and will often be complemented by an edge-based topology such as ETSI’s Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC), which will allow both the access point and the IT platform to be located close to the user, and potentially in the same housing (though that is controversial). The upshot is that operators may be turning their baseband network functions into software, but they will need far larger numbers of cell sites, fibre links (long and short range) and new…

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