Skip to main content Accessibility help
Hostname: page-component-888d5979f-bkf9v Total loading time: 0.372 Render date: 2021-10-26T18:54:50.116Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

2 - Cloud Radio Access Networks for 5G Systems

from Part I - Communication Network Architectures for 5G Systems

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2017

I Chih-Lin
China Mobile Research Institute, China
Jinri Huang
China Mobile Research Institute, China
Xueyan Huang
China Mobile Research Institute, China
Rongwei Ren
China Mobile Research Institute, China
Yami Chen
China Mobile Research Institute
Vincent W. S. Wong
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
Robert Schober
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany
Derrick Wing Kwan Ng
University of New South Wales, Sydney
Li-Chun Wang
National Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Get access


According to a report from Cisco [1], global mobile data traffic will continue to grow rapidly from 2015 to 2020. Meanwhile, the fifth generation (5G) is required to enhance the telecommunications infrastructure and provide new information services to support vertical applications in a variety of industrial areas, such as agriculture, medicine, finance, transportation, manufacturing, and education. Therefore, 5G requires innovative solutions to meet new demands from both the mobile Internet and the Internet of Things (IoT) in terms of user-experienced data rate improvement, latency reduction, connection density and area capacity density enhancement, mobility enhancement, and spectral efficiency and energy efficiency improvements.

According to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the current 5G scenarios can be divided into three categories: enhanced mobile broadband (eMBB), massive machine-type communications (mMTC), and ultra-reliable low-latency communications (URLLC). Hotspots (indoor/outdoor), wide-area coverage, and high speed are typical use cases. Performance measures of human-centric communications such as the ultimate user experience are primary targets in the eMBB scenario. Use cases of mMTC include the monitoring and automation of buildings and infrastructure, smart agriculture, logistics, tracking, and fleet management. A high connection density, low complexity and cost, and long battery life are essential objectives in the mMTC scenario. There are many representative use cases related to URLLC, such as remote machinery and intelligent transportation systems. Low latency and high reliability are key points that need to be taken into account in the design of the radio technology in order to solve the problem of the specific requirements of URLLC scenarios.

Rethinking the Fundamentals for 5G Systems

The 5G network is anticipated to be soft, green, and superfast [2]. To meet the critical requirements for various scenarios, it is simply not enough for 5G to evolve from current fourth generation (4G) systems. Rather, it requires a revolutionary path. In [2–4], it was proposed to rethink the fundamentals from seven perspectives, such as architectures, protocols, and functions, to revolutionarily redesign future 5G networks, including:

  1. 1. Rethinking Shannon, which is to take a green metric such as the energy efficiency as a key performance indicator of wireless systems.

  2. 2. Rethinking Ring and Young, which is to break the boundary of conventional cells. As we move toward the timeline of 2020 with the introduction of heterogeneous networks (HetNets) and ultra-dense networks (UDNs), multiple layers of radio networks have come into being.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2017

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)


[1] Cisco Systems, “Cisco visual networking index: Global mobile data traffic forecast update, 2015–2020,” Feb. 2016. Available at service-provider/visual-networking-index-vni/mobile-white-paper-c11-520862.html.
[2] C., I, S., Han, Z., Xu, S., Qi, and Z., Pan, “5G: Rethink mobile communications for 2020+,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. A: Math., Phys. and Eng. Sci., vol. 374, no. 2062, 20140432, Jan. 2016.Google Scholar
[3] C., I, C., Rowell, S., Han, Z., Xu, G., Li, and Z., Pan, “Toward green and soft: A 5G perspective,” IEEE Commun. Mag., vol. 52, no. 2, pp. 66–73, Feb. 2014.Google Scholar
[4] C., I, Y., Yuan, J., Huang, S., Ma, R., Duan, and C., Cui, “Rethink fronthaul for soft RAN,” IEEE Commun. Mag., vol. 53, no. 9, pp. 82–88, Sep. 2015.Google Scholar
[5] China Mobile Research Institute, “C-RAN: The road towards green RAN,” White paper, version 3.0, Dec. 2013. Available at 2014/06/20140613-C-RAN-WP-3.0.pdf.
[6] C., I, J., Huang, R., Duan, C., Cui, J., Jiang, and L., Li, “Recent progress on C-RAN centralization and cloudification,” IEEE Access, vol. 2, pp. 1030–1039, Sep. 2014.Google Scholar
[7] Ericsson, Huawei Technologies, NEC, Alcatel Lucent and Nokia Siemens Networks, “Common Public Radio Interface (CPRI) specification (v6.0),” Tech. Rep., Aug. 2013. Available at
[8] China Mobile Research Institute, “White paper of next generation fronthaul interface,” White paper, Version 1.0. Available at uploads/WhitePaperofNextGenerationFronthaulInterface.PDF 2015.
[9] C., I, J., Huang, Y., Yuan, S., Ma, and R., Duan, “NGFI, the xHaul,” in Proc. of IEEE Globecom Workshops (GC Wkshps), Dec. 2015.
[10] D., Wubben, P., Rost, J., Bartelt, M., Lalam, and V., Savin, “Benefits and impact of cloud computing on 5G signal processing: Flexible centralization through cloud-RAN,” IEEE Signal Process. Mag., vol. 31, no. 6, pp. 35–44, Nov. 2014.Google Scholar
[11] A., Davydov, G., Morozov, I., Bolotin, and A., Papathanassiou, “Evaluation of joint transmission CoMP in C-RAN based LTE-A HetNets with large coordination areas,” in Proc. of IEEE Globecom Workshops (GC Wkshps), Dec. 2013.
[12] ETSI, “LTE; Evolved Universal Terrestrial Radio Access (E-UTRA); Base station (BS) radio transmission and reception (release 11),” ETSI TS 136 104, Version 11.4.0, 2013. Available at v110400p.pdf.
[13] ETSI, “E-UTRAN S1 general aspects and principles,” ETSI TS 36.410, Version 12.1.0, Dec. 2014.
[14] ETSI, “E-UTRAN S1 application protocol,” ETSI TS 36.413, Version 12.6.0, Jun. 2015.
[15] ETSI, “E-UTRAN overall description,” ETSI TS 36.300, Version 12.6.0, Jun. 2015.
[16] ETSI, “E-UTRAN physical channels and modulation,” ETSI TS 36.211, Version 12.6.0, Jun. 2015.

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the or variations. ‘’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats