MWC Shanghai: Alcatel-Lucent, China Mobile demo vRAN for 5G

Alcatel-Lucent, in partnership with China Mobile, has conducted the field trial of a virtualized radio access network-based architecture based on network functions virtualization (NFV) technology.

The trial demonstrates the capabilities of Alcatel-Lucent’s vRAN and NFV technologies for meeting the dynamically changing demands for access from an ever increasing number of applications and devices, people and machines, the company said. It also paves new path for 5G networks, the company said.

China Mobile is evolving to 5G, thanks to the enormous growth of Internet of Things (IoT) in China. Data traffic in the country is expected to increase almost tenfold between 2014 and 2019. The growth creates the need for better network convergence, better spectral efficiency, support for more users, higher data rates and a more consistent user experience.

In the trial Alcatel-Lucent’s vRAN technology was deployed throughout the 442 hectares of Beijing’s Tisinghua University campus. The trial provided both indoor and outdoor coverage and demonstrated the flexibility of the vRAN network, including its ability to dynamically scale network resources in response to traffic demands by the users across the campus.

Also read: MWC Shanghai: 4G smartphones drive Chinese market; 3G hit

The NFV-based RAN platform helps service providers lay the foundation for supporting multiple access technologies, such as LTE, LTE-Advanced and Wi-Fi, while providing an evolution path to 5G and accelerating time-to-market for new, revenue-generating services.

The effort by Alcatel-Lucent and China Mobile is expected to help operators smoothly evolve and meet growing customer demands with a more efficient and effective network structure.

Alcatel-Lucent will demonstrate the vRAN platform at Mobile World Congress Shanghai between July 15 and 17, 2015.

Dr. Chih-Lin I, chief scientist of China Mobile Research Institute said: “The vRAN technology will allow us to deliver new efficiencies across our network as our customers’ data demands change and more devices connect to our network.”

Glenn Booth, senior vice president and general manger of Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE Business Unit, said, “This trial is a prime example of how we are working with customers to develop, test and deploy networks with the highest performance and efficiencies and the lowest costs.”

Meanwhile, in another IoT partnership, China Unicom partnered with Huawei to deploy Cellular Internet of Things (CIoT) Pilot based on 4.5G LTE-Machine to Machine (LTE-M).

Rajani Baburajan

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