Ranplan, pioneer of HetNet wireless network planning tools, predicts far greater emphasis on ultra-reliable indoor connectivity, Open RAN architectures and automation, post initial network deployment
With 5G deployments intensifying, one of the key themes at this year’s Mobile World Congress will be the challenge to perfect wireless connectivity inside and in close proximity to buildings in dense urban environments. Other hot topics at this month’s MWC will be the emergence of more intelligent and dynamic networks through AI-led automation, as well as the increasing drive for network openness and interoperability led by the O-RAN Alliance.
As mmWave spectrum becomes broadly available, service providers will be strongly incentivized to dramatically improve the capabilities of cellular networks indoors. Ranplan envisages that within the next few years, the proportion of larger buildings in urban areas with dedicated cellular networks will increase at least five-fold from the current level of approximately 2%, with global spend expected to be $11bn by 2023. A special impetus is likely to come from the private 4G(LTE)/5G stampede, epitomized by CBRS (Citizens Broadband Radio Service).
Ranplan also believes that the increasing drive for openness and interoperability of networks will see more support for the O-RAN Alliance at this year’s MWC. “While the major operators are keen to reduce costs, avoid vendor lock-in and encourage more sharing of infrastructure, the move away from proprietary networks will also encourage innovation, multi-party collaboration and reduce the dominance of the major equipment providers, opening up exciting new opportunities for smaller vendors,” said Per Lindberg, CEO Ranplan Group AB.
Over the next few years, networks will be much more dynamic, flexible and intelligent, leveraging AI-led automation tools to adapt to varying traffic demands and exploiting the powers of network slicing algorithms to instantly modify themselves.
“Ranplan’s roadmap is strategically aligned with the principles of O-RAN Alliance as there are obvious benefits attached to open interfaces and full interoperability in a multi-vendor environment. We recognize that these attributes are absolutely essential to the realization of network slicing as well as automation and optimization of network operations,” said Per Lindberg.
“Network slicing epitomizes the real-time adaptability of the network architecture of the future. Its realization is set to deliver highly desirable and tangible benefits – in terms of both cost and performance – to consumers, enterprises and operators,” said Professor Jie Zhang, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ranplan Group AB.
At MWC 2020, Ranplan will be showing the latest capability of its flagship platform, Ranplan Professional. Version 6.0 is powered by the next generation propagation engine, Ranplan Maxwell, a vector-based deterministic, true 3D ray-launching/tracing engine, providing increased accuracy and faster prediction speeds. This new edition platform also paves the way for a cloud native and multi-vendor environment, embracing open interfaces and automation. Ranplan will also be featuring its Collaboration Hub (C-HUB), a secure, cloud-based project management and workflow platform that allows operators, system integrators and equipment vendors to work together and gain real-time project status overview. The C-HUB is already being used to support OSS integration with a large mobile operator in Japan.
Also featured at MWC will be Ranplan In-Building, an indoor network planning and optimization platform designed specifically for large, complex in-building projects where high-density indoor coverage is a challenge. In addition, Ranplan Tablet caters to the needs of non-RF engineers to help reduce the time of onsite RF planning by quickly capturing site survey information, rapidly creating preliminary indoor plans, and easily generating bills of materials.