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A new alliance for cloud mobile network at WMC 2015

A year after forming their wireless partnership, Intel and Franco-American network builder Alcatel-Lucent say they’re ready to start moving the mobile network from the cell tower into the data center. At Mobile World Congress on Monday, the two took the wraps off a new networking architecture called vRAN, which looks unlike any mobile system deployed to date.

vRAN moves the baseband processing that drives the mobile network to the cloud and at its center are servers running on Intel Xeon processors. Alcatel-Lucent then runs many of the functions of the network as software on that server. The concept is known as Cloud-RAN, and if adopted by the mobile industry, it could fundamentally change how networks are built.

The mobile industry certainly wouldn’t be the first to embrace virtualization, but the move is a particularly fraught one for carriers because of the highly distributed way mobile networks are designed. All of the processing might – and the lion’s share of the expense – of mobile networks is at its fringes, right under the radios that transmit signals to our phones. Today carriers have to maximize the capacity of those base stations so they can handle the enormous demand for mobile data and voice at peak times.

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Source: Gigaom

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