NEC and Intel have formed a partnership to jointly develop the "Cloud-Radio Access Network (Cloud-RAN) solution" for virtualizing the functions of mobile base stations.
Both companies will start a joint proof of concept trial from early 2016 to verify the capabilities of the Cloud-RAN solution, the firms said.
Mobile base stations are comprised of a Digital Unit (DU) that handles data processing and a Radio Unit (RU) that sends and receives radio waves. The Cloud-RAN solution separates the DU functions from mobile base stations, and enables the functions to be run on general-purpose servers equipped with Intel's multi-core processors.
This makes it possible to centralize the DU functions, allowing for multiple units of the RU to be centrally controlled from one general-purpose server, the companies said.
The solution improves the communication performance of mobile base stations through more precise control of radio interference between the RUs, while cutting down on power and space consumption by consolidating the DU hardware.
This in turn contributes to a reduction in the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of base station equipment.
Nozomu Watanabe, GM of mobile radio access network division at NEC said, “We have been working with Intel on the virtualization of mobile core networks and customer premises equipment (CPE) and are very pleased to extend our collaboration in Network Functions Virtualization (NFV) to mobile base stations.
“Looking forward, NEC will further strengthen its relationship with Intel for the advancement of NFV, which is the core technology supporting 5G and other forms of next generation wireless communication,” the executive said.