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The radio access network (RAN) has been far from the frontlines of operators' network virtualization and cloud architectures, but that is now changing. As operators prepare for 5G, cloud networking and virtualization are slowly being applied to the RAN.


  • Confusion remains over virtualized RAN and Cloud-RAN. The two terms are still used interchangeably, even though they are not the same thing. In addition, mobile operators have different definitions of Cloud-RAN, with some still using the term to describe centralized RAN.

Features and Benefits

  • Hear directly from two leading mobile operators on why they are looking at Cloud-RAN and virtualized RAN.
  • Understand how Cloud-RAN and virtualized RAN are not the same thing.

Key questions answered

  • What is the difference between Cloud-RAN and virtualized RAN?
  • Why are operators interested in Cloud-RAN?

Table of contents


  • In brief
  • Ovum view
  • Recommendations

Defining Cloud-RAN and virtualized RAN

  • They are related, but they are not the same thing
  • Market drivers for Cloud-RAN

Vendor activities

  • What different radio vendors are doing when it comes to Cloud-RAN and virtualized RAN

Operator views

  • Ovum's interviews with mobile operators on Cloud-RAN and virtualized RAN


  • Methodology
  • Further reading
  • Author

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