BT uses technology to deliver C-RAN service over copper

Telecom network operator BT today announced that it used technology to deliver a Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) cellular network service over copper.

“This is an industry first,” said BT. BT, one of the leading telecom operators in the U.K., invests £500 million in R&D every year. BT currently holds 4,560 patents.

C-RAN new network architecture connects cellular base-stations to mobile operators’ core networks. A traditional approach to C-RAN requires a dedicated fiber link to connect transmitters at the top of a cellular tower to complex signal-processing equipment deeper in the network.

BT’s researchers at Adastral Park Labs in Ipswich, in association with global chipset vendor Cavium demonstrated that they can use technology to deliver cellular data over copper lines at speeds of 150 – 200Mbps.

BT said the trial removes the need for mobile operators to invest in backhaul links over dedicated fiber connections.  C-RAN service delivered over will lower the cost of deployment for mobile operators building out 4G networks today and 5G architectures in the future.

Tim Whitley, MD for Research & Innovation at BT said: “Using to deliver a cellular network is an exciting breakthrough for C-RAN and yet another world first for our team of researchers at Adastral Park.”

“We are excited to collaborate with BT, using Cavium OCTEON Fusion-M base station and ThunderX server processor technology to validate this Radio Access application with technology,” said Raj Singh, general manager of Cavium’s Wireless Broadband Group.

If the trials prove successful, BT has pledged to provide ultrafast broadband speeds to 10 million homes by 2020 and to the majority of the UK within a decade.

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