Future-proof RAN Split Architecture

At MWC 2017 ZTE is launching its Future-proof RAN Split Architecture. This breakthrough provides to our customers with a large set of advantages in terms of flexible deployment of RAN network, leveraged efficiency, improved customer experience and streamlined time to market for new services. The concepts connected to the RAN split architecture are not only applicable to 5G, but in the case of 5G the associated benefits are bigger than to previous technologies.

Under the RAN split paradigm, the traditional BBU of the Base Station is divided into what requires real time processing and what does not require such real time. The non real time processing (Control Plane and higher layers of User Plane) are hosted by a Centralized Unit, while the real time can be allocated in the distributed unit. The user plane stack can be self-adaptively distributed between CU/DU, to meet the different service requirement & transmission conditions.

Examples of use cases where RAN split makes a dramatic difference:

The following are typical scenarios of RAN split solution. It can dynamically adapt to different scenarios, bring high throughput, better mobility, massive connectivity and low latency services. The following use cases can be radically benefitted from the ZTE RAN Split architecture:




  • Stadiums with extreme traffic conditions. RAN split, in combination with MEC will secure a best in class customer experience in terms of throughput and latency
  • High Mobility areas, where RAN split will facilitate more precise and effective handovers between cells.
  • Massive connectivity, where signaling overload can be largely mitigated thanks to the RAN split architecture
  • Local applications across different industries can be smoothly deployed with a much higher level of user experience

ZTE Highlight:

Although the RAN split architecture is not a novel industry concept, ZTE is taking the concept to a new stage, making it more flexible, easier to deploy and more effective thanks to our innovative approach:

  • Flexible for different fronthaul
  • CU/DU suitable for ideal or non-ideal fronthaul conditions
  • Adaptive RAN split & dynamic software define RAN
  • Adaptive to all scenarios