xRAN Forum Releases Second Open Fronthaul Control, User and Synchronization Plane Specification and First Open Fronthaul Management Plane Specification
The xRAN Forum (xRAN) today announced the Board’s approval and public availability of the xRAN Fronthaul Control, User and Synchronization (CUS) Plane Specification Version 2.0 and the xRAN Fronthaul Management Plane (MP) Specification Version 1.0. The specifications have been designed to allow a wide range of vendors to develop innovative, best-of-breed RRUs and BBUs for a wide range of deployment scenarios, which can be easily integrated with virtualized infrastructure & management systems using standardized data models.
The new specifications deliver on important operator member requirements. All xRAN operator members extend well deserved credit and gratitude to the xRAN members who made contributions and facilitated strong collaboration within the xRAN Forum Front Haul Working Group, chaired by Verizon Communication.
The xRAN Forum fosters a growing ecosystem of innovative and interoperable RAN products catering to the varied needs of the Forum’s operator members. Interfaces defined by the xRAN Fronthaul Specification enable efficient deployment of advanced technologies like Massive MIMO & Virtualized RAN with support for LTE and NR.
The second major version of CUS-plane specification incorporates several enhancements over the first version including:
- Support for 2 radio categories (A and B) to enable both simple and more complex functionality leveraging largely the same interface specification
- Additional compression modes to provide increased fronthaul bandwidth savings
- Support for critical items such as synchronization and timing to enable commercialization and interoperability in deployments
- Support for additional LTE system features like LAA, NB-IOT, including improved efficiency in parsing of U-plane packets
The first version of M-plane specification is a significant milestone for the industry. It provides an open multi-vendor M-plane model for radios based on standardized modern protocols like NETCONF/YANG and includes key capabilities:
- Support for features and capabilities in v1.0 of CUS specification and several enhancements in v2.0 of CUS specification
- Flexible management architecture providing support for traditional hierarchical and hybrid (multiple NETCONF clients or EMS can directly communicate with radio) deployment models
- A comprehensive YANG model developed for 4G & 5G radios building upon industry accepted data models
A registration link to download the complete specifications is available on the xRAN website.
About xRAN Forum
The xRAN Forum was formed to develop, standardize and promote an open alternative to the traditionally closed, hardware-based RAN architecture. xRAN fundamentally advances RAN architecture in three areas – decouples the RAN control plane from the user plane, builds a modular eNB software stack that operates on common-off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and publishes open north- and south-bound interfaces to the industry.
Since its founding the xRAN Forum has gained tremendous industry momentum with leadership from operators AT&T, Deutsche Telekom, JIO, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Sprint, Telefonica, Telstra and Verizon. At the same time, xRAN has grown its contributing member base with strong representation from the vendor community including: Altiostar, Amdocs, Aricent, ASOCS, Blue Danube, Broadcom, Ciena, Cisco, Commscope, Fujitsu, Intel, Keysight Technologies, Mavenir, NEC, Netsia, Nokia, Pivotal Commware, Radisys, Samsung, Stanford University, University of Sydney, and VIAVI Solutions
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