SK Telecom announced on the 21st that it will unveil the results of development of virtualization technology required for 5G (5G) communication infrastructure innovation at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2022, which will be held in Barcelona, Spain from the 28th.
The key to this achievement is the 5G wireless network-based cloud virtualization base station (vRAN). Virtualization base station is a technology that mounts various network functions of base station access network equipment (RAN, a wireless access network that provides a communication environment to mobile communication terminals) in the form of software. By utilizing this technology, time and cost for base station management can be reduced.
5G network equipment is largely a ‘radio signal processing unit (RU)’ that transmits/receives with a mobile communication terminal and processes wireless signals, a ‘distributed unit (DU)’ that processes digital signals from base stations to encrypt wireless digital signals, and occurs in the field. It is divided into a ‘Central Unit (CU)’ that collects information and optimizes the overall traffic of the base station. If vRAN is used, DU and CU, except for RU that directly exchanges data with a smartphone, can be operated in software.
In the past, the construction and management of base stations had to be done in different ways in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications for each device. This method can expedite the management of 5G base stations.
Globally, the evolution to an open ecosystem is accelerating for the implementation of 5G services. For this purpose, the field that is being actively studied together with vRAN is Open LAN (O-RAN). It is a technology that can link equipment of different communication equipment manufacturers using an open interface. Just as you can enjoy the same music or photos on different devices in ‘mp3’ or ‘jpg’ file format, the open interface will enable seamless compatibility with equipment from different manufacturers.
SK Telecom emphasized that with the development of this technology, opportunities for small and medium-sized equipment companies to enter the 5G equipment market will increase in the equipment market led by existing large equipment companies.