C-RAN fronthaul enhancements using Software Defined Networking
Cloud Radio Access Networks (C-RAN) offer numerous advantages both on the functional and the hardware plane. We can efficiently control the access network using Software Defined Networking, but it is not the only benefit of SDN technology. Optimization of various network features and elements can be done by plug-and-play applications interfaced with the SDN controller. Since it orchestrates all the network elements from Remote Radio Heads (RRHs) to the Baseband Unit (BBU) pool, which all provide real-time measurements that can be then used by optimization algorithms. In the talk, we present SDN enabled C-RAN architecture and its advantages for network control, then we focus on various features that it facilitates. These can impact wireless transmissions (e.g. eICIC, Network MIMO), fronthaul network (e.g. routing over Ethernet fronthaul) or computational resources (e.g. load balancing). We would like to highlight how SDN allows scalable and reconfigurable realization of these features and how it can improve them with respect to Distributed RAN or centralized architectures without collective control over network elements.