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Soaring bandwidth demands are forcing mobile operators to rethink access architectures and how they design the network. Using front-haul in a centralized RAN (C-RAN) has emerged as a way to support emerging capacity requirements.


  • Increasing capacity requirements and desire to lower cost are driving C-RAN and optical front-haul.
  • Interest in C-RAN is high, but adoption is localized.
  • Scaling C-RAN using CPRI front-haul is difficult – look for vendors to innovate in this area.

Features and Benefits

  • Provides analysis on the need for C-RAN
  • Provides analysis of different options for delivering CPRI front-haul for C-RAN

Key questions answered

  • What is C-RAN and why is it important?
  • What technologies are likely to succeed in the long and short term?

Table of contents

Ovum view

  • Summary
  • Increasing capacity requirements and desire to lower cost are driving C-RAN and optical front-haul
  • Interest is high but adoption localized
  • Scaling C-RAN using CPRI front-haul is difficult – bet on Ethernet


  • Further reading
  • Author

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