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Authors: Nikos Makris, Pavlos Basaras, Thanasis Korakis, Navid Nikaein and Leandros Tassiulas

Conference: ICC 2017, Paris, France, May 2017

Abstract: Centralized RAN processing has been identified as one of the major enablers for 5G mobile network access. By moving the baseband units (BBU) to the Cloud, multiple instances can be instantiated on the fly, serving several Remote Radio Head (RRH) units. The goal is to satisfy the existing demand of particular geographical areas, whereas drastically reducing the overall CAPEX and OPEX costs of the mobile operators. In this work, we present an experimental study of real Cloud-RAN deployments, with respect to different functional splits. We use as a reference architecture the 3GPP LTE stack, and argue about the functional split applicability in contemporary networks. We evaluate Layer 2 functional splits, that can be used for the convergence of multiple heterogeneous wireless technologies in an all-in-one unit. By deploying our approach in a real testbed setup, we extract the backhaul network transfer requirements for the different splits and present our experimental findings, compared with the respective simulation results.

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