In C-RAN, the mobile communication functions are converted into Virtual Machines (VMs) to be implemented on general-purpose servers and integrated within the cloud. C-RAN is basically a virtual base station/Software-Defined Radio Access Network (SD-RAN) that uses the basic concept of virtualized functions to deliver new networks. It also has a software-based configuration, hence it can be collaborated with key innovators to build enhanced networking functions. 360Quadrants has identified top 10 Cloud Radio Access Network Solutions (C-RAN Software) providers, as below.

Top 10 Cloud Radio Access Network Solutions (C-RAN Software)

These are the organizations that offer established and reliable digital transformation solutions and services and also are strategically and geographically well placed.  Some of the major players are:

  1. Nokia Corporation
  2. Huawei Technologies
  3. Ericsson Inc
  4. ZTE Corporation
  5. Mavenir
  6. Samsung
  7. Fujitsu Limited
  8. NEC Corporation
  9. AltioStar
  10. Intel Corporation

Top C-Ran Software Features

C-Ran Software lays a foundation for the 5G network structure. It helps in supporting the increasing demand for mobile data traffic and maintaining the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) at a reasonable level. Below mentioned are of some of the features that businesses can consider prior to choosing an ideal C-Ran software:

  1. Cloud Optimized Network Applications
  2. Resource Arrangement
  3. Layer Networking
  4. Scalability
  5. Resource Pooling
  6. Spectral Efficiency
  7. Network Orchestration

Top 10 Upcoming Companies

These new entrants are the firms that have a great understanding of the latest technologies and trends, right from their inception. These companies may not be so widespread geographically, but they have offerings. These vendors are generally the ones who are beginning to emerge in terms of product portfolio and geographical coverage, and will need some time to gain traction in the market. Some of the emerging new entrants are:

  1. Telia Company
  2. Oberthur Technologies
  3. Netscout Systems
  4. Inmarsat Communications
  5. Radisys Corporation
  6. Artiza Networks
  7. Anristu Corporation
  8. 6Wind
  9. EXFO
  10. Infinera Corporation

COMPETITIVE LEADERSHIP MAPPING TERMINOLOGY

The vendors are placed into 4 categories based on their performance in each criterion: “Visionary Leaders,” “Innovators,” “Dynamic Differentiators,” and “Emerging Companies.” The players evaluated include Nokia Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Cisco Systems, Inc., Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., Altiostar, NEC Corporation, ZTE Corporation, Ericsson AB, Fujitsu, Intel Corporation, Aritza Networks, Radisys Corporation, Xillinx Inc., Mavenir Systems, ASOCS Ltd., Texas Instruments Inc., Anritsu, Commscope, Infinera Corporation, EXFO Inc., Amphenol Corporation, Viavi Solutions Inc., 6Wind, Airspan Networks, and Dali Wireless. The analysis was carried out based on specific parameters and the scores were assigned accordingly.

VISIONARY LEADERS

Vendors who fall into this category receive high scores for most of the evaluation criterion. The vendors in this MicroQuadrant have a strong and established product portfolio, and a very strong market presence. They provide mature and reputable C-RAN services that cater to a wide range of verticals, globally. They also have strong business strategies. The visionary leaders in the C-RAN market include Nokia Corporation, Ericsson AB, ZTE Corporation, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd., and NEC Corporation.

DYNAMIC DIFFERENTIATORS

They are established vendors with very strong business strategies. However, they are low in their product portfolios. They generally focus on a specific type of technology related to the product. The vendors included in this MicroQuadrant have a good customer base and are providers of software and services catering to the other technologies as well. The dynamic differentiators in the C-RAN market include Samsung Electronics Co Ltd, Fujitsu, and Altiostar.

INNOVATORS

Innovators in the MicroQuadrant are vendors that have demonstrated substantial product innovations as compared to their competitors. They have very focused product portfolios. However, they do not have very strong growth strategies for their overall business. Innovators in the C-RAN market include Radisys Corporation, Mavenir Systems, ASOCS Ltd., Commscope, and 6Wind.

EMERGING COMPANIES

They are vendors with niche product offerings, who are starting to gain their recognition in the market. They do not have very strong business strategies as compared to the other established vendors. They might be new entrants in the market and require some more time before getting a significant traction. The emerging players in the C-RAN market include Intel Corporation, Aritza Networks, Texas Instruments Inc., Anritsu, Infinera Corporation, EXFO Inc., Amphenol Corporation, Viavi Solutions Inc., Airspan Networks, and Dali Wireless.

Cloud Radio Access Network Solutions (C-RAN Software)

Comparing 42 vendors in Cloud Radio Access Network (C-RAN) Solutions across 73 criteria.
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Nokia being one of the key players in the telecom and networking workspace, provides various products, solutions, and services with regards to SDN, NFV, and cloud solutions. With regards to C-RAN, Nokia provides Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN solutions.
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Huawei being one of the important players in the C-RAN market also has a popular product in this particular market. Amongst its huge product portfolio, it provides the C-RAN WDM Bearer Solution, which comes under its fixed network section.
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The company provides cloud-optimized network applications in which case the provided network is shared with cloud-optimized applications, along with an extremely high level of automation and resource arrangement, which are important capabilities for the deliverance of 5G service.
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ZTE Corporation offers one of the best product lines in the telecommunication industry across various verticals, such as wireless networks, core networks, access and bearer networks, and services and terminals. ZTE endorses its new generation RAN solution, called ZTE Cloud RAN.
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Mavenir provides flexible tools for RAN, which are developed with today's LTE and 5G network requirements in mind. The company realizes that there is a need for a flexible RAN, which has to be adaptable to the changing circumstances and responsive for the constantly evolving infrastructure requirements. Mavenir provides its C-RAN solution, called SmartC-RAN (SmartRRU and SmartC-BBU).
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Samsung offers its product, Samsung C-RAN 2.0 to the C-RAN market. Samsung C-RAN 2.0 provides centralized Base Band Units (BBUs) from the RAN into either more than 1 centralized location, which eventually delivers substantial performance opportunities, along with scalability-driven cost benefits and improved site procurement.
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Fujitsu provides a complete end-to-end solution for the C-RAN market space, which goes from point-to-point fronthaul network to a self-healing dissimilar path or ring architecture, which can be accomplished at ease, using the Fujitsu Smart CPRI Transport Solution. Fujitsu for the C-RAN market is called Fujitsu C-RAN Transport Solution.
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NEC provides the NFV C-RAN product for catering to C-RAN requirements. NFV C-RAN is constructed upon understanding the significance of elasticity in C-RAN deployments. The company’s C-RAN solution is suitable for both small-scale carriers and large-scale carriers. Management and Network Orchestration (MANO) of this product simplifies and provides a hassle-free transition path toward the 5G area.
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Altiostar provides an innovative architecture, which is a software-intensive virtualized RAN. The architecture provides better QoE, along with lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). The company’s C-RAN solutions also provide carrier-grade NFV platform.
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ASOCS provides NFV-compatible virtualized base stations and C-RAN solutions, eventually making the solutions more energy-efficient. It achieves this by taking all the layers and operations of the traditional base stations and changing them into computational software, which is virtualized on typical Commercial off-the-Shelf (COTS) platforms.
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Intel has gained a substantial growth in the C-RAN market space, its acquisition of Altera in 2015. Altera designs and develops programmable chips (Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs)) for base stations and other infrastructure. It provides its C-RAN solutions under the Intel FPGA umbrella.
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Cisco offers its product, Cisco Mobile Backhaul, which handles mobile backhauling issues. In order to meet the rising traffic demands, various solutions are required, such as reduced OPEX, enhanced time to revenue and average revenue per user, and transporting the huge surge in user bandwidth in an efficient and profitable manner.
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