The 5G network is being designed from the ground up with virtualization in mind, according to Alok Shaw, vice president, Networks Strategy, Business Development and Marketing at Samsung Electronics America. That’s not just in the core but all the way into the radio.
“Our commercial radio base station, the access unit—it supports physical layer and MAC layer functionality but a lot of the traditional RAN functionality is back at the data center in a virtualized architecture,” he told Fierce.
The architecture actually starts with the data center. The 5G RAN is a virtualized RAN so some components sit in the data center and the access units sit on pole tops in neighborhoods.