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Project Name:

  • Proposed name for the project: C-RAN
  • Proposed name for the repository: c-ran

Project description:

  • Provide high level description of intended project and OPNFV use case and benefit, if needed.

C-RAN means Cloud Radio Access Network or Centralized Radio Access Network. The basic concept is to consolidate compute resources to run some radio access functions  in a datacenter, rather than in a base station. Some of the functions which can be centralized may include centralized eNodeB processing (virtual baseband unit (vBBU) or Radio Cloud Center (RCC)), virtualized Mobility Management Entity (vMME), and virtualized Signalling/Processing Gateway (virtual S/GW or P/GW). Several of these virtual functions impose strict timing or performance requirements for signal processing to be compliant with existing standards. The goal of this project is to document the requirements of these virtual functions, and propose a reference architecture for a complete C-RAN architecture which we can deploy on OPNFV infrastructure.  

The C-RAN project is wireless communication network integration and testing project based on NFV architecture. Establish an NFV cloud platform that supports wireless Application. Based on wireless communication needs, increase performance NFVI for wireless cloud platform provides network technology, expand MANO the technical characteristic of wireless resource support, firstly complete the deployment of RAN-VNF instances based on 4G LTE standard, secondly complete the integration and testing of the RAN-VNF and RAN-PNF instances of the 5G standard CU/DU architecture and establish the strategy for wireless communication network optimization scheme.

Meanwhile, The project will also introduce the demand analysis and research of the accelerator adaptation layer for wireless network, by accelerator carrying wireless features of high-level protocol stack (for example, PDCP/RLC encryption and compression), improve NFVI platform of wireless network data processing ability. and advance the definition of openstack's management interface for accelerator.

Finally, the project will also consider the design and architecture of the MEC and C-RAN share platform, as well as how to establish the link to the end to end wireless network via virtual network.

  • Include any architecture diagrams or specifications, reference to OPNFV requirements list.


  • Describe the problem being solved by project

The C-RAN project is wireless communication network integration and testing project based on NFV architecture. Currently there is no project in the OPNFV community for the integration and testing of wireless communication background. There is no measurement of standard use cases and related test indicators for the open source network function for wireless networks. The C-RAN project will integrate and tune various functional modules to achieve optimization and integration of wireless networks. In the open source community, the performance test and interface standardization of wireless network elements are clearly defined. Provide open source wireless network test cases for industry, platform system tuning and interface standardization definition.

According to the specific content of C-RAN item, the requirements of specific performance indexes of RAN-NFVI are presented, and quantified values are given in the context of test cases, and calculation methods are given. The demand for transmission network, such as time delay, latency, bandwidth, etc., gives quantified value and calculation method. The need for the RAN side to expand the orchestration capability is presented.

Through the specific content of C-RAN project definition support wireless network function RAN-NFVI layer ability, analysis software and virtual decoupling scheme, three layers of research supports the C-RAN NFVI key technology and the optimization and integration of software and hardware acceleration program, the formation of C-RAN deployment operations strategy.

In the C-RAN project, three sub-projects are planned:

  1. Integration and testing of RAN-VNF (high priority);
  2. Research on demand analysis and architecture design for the accelerator adaptation layer on the RAN side  (general priority);
  3. MEC and RAN share platform performance requirements analysis and end-to-end network links and choreography (discussion to be determined);
  • Specify any interface/API specification proposed,

Based on CU/DU architecture of the implementation of the interface between RAN-VNF and RAN-PNF;

Based on CU/DU architecture of the realization of interface extension between RAN-VNF and RAN-PNF;

The interface implementation of the accelerator management subsystem of the NFVI cloud platform based on CU/DU architecture;

  • Specify testing and integration:

A test case for the RAN-VNF stack based on 4G LTE standard is presented;

To realize the NFVI integration test case reference for wireless communication network element?PVP testing, PVVP testing?;

Implementation of MANO's integration and testing of NFVI EPA extension features for wireless communication network elements;

  • Debugging and Tracing
  • Unit/Integration Test plans

2017 Q4 completed the C-RAN project set up;

2018 Q1 completed the platform integration test based on NFVI optimization;

2018 Q1 the demand collection and analysis of accelerator adaptation layer start;

2018 Q2 the implementation of the 4G LTE RAN-VNF protocol stack test case was presented and the functional test was completed;

2018 Q3 the architecture and interface definition of the accelerator adaptation layer are started;

2018 Q4 Complete the integration test based on optimized NFVI and RAN-VNF (finish the UEàRAN-VNFàCore-VNF link test)

  • Client tools developed for status shows etc.
  • Identity a list of features and functionality will be developed.

The functional development of the RAN-VNF test case based on 4G LTE;

NFVI platform integrated tuning reference specification based on wireless communication (including hardware selection and software configuration reference);

Defined and realize the interface between CU/DU?RAN-VNF/RAN-PNF?;

Define the architecture design and interface definition of the accelerator adaptation layer facing the RAN side;

  • Identify what is in or out of scope. So during the development phase, it helps reduce discussion.

The realization of DU(RAN-PNF) based on 5G standard is  not in the realm of research and development of this project.

  • Describe how the project is extensible in future

The C-RAN project is developed and integrated in the form of DEVOPS, providing continuous integration and extension capabilities and interfaces, and the communication between modules is extended according to the communication protocol between VNF.


  • Specify testing and integration like interoperability, scalability, high availability
  • What QA and test resources will be available?

The C-RAN project will provide a set of NFVI integrated tuning reference specifications to provide platform support for project participants;

The C-RAN project will provide test case debugging manuals and debug scripts;


  • API Docs

In C-RAN Project will submit an interface specification between CU and DU (RAN-VNF/RAN-PNF);

In C-RAN Project the interface extension definitions between RAN-VNF and MANO will be presented;

In C-RAN Project will submit the definition of the accelerator adapter layer interface;

  • Functional block description

The C-RAN project will submit an interface definition description for CU (RAN-VNF), interface call instructions, test flow instructions, and test results;

The C-RAN project will submit the tuning reference specification for all functional modules of the NFVI platform;


  • Identify similar projects is underway or being proposed in OPNFV or upstream project


  • Identify any open source upstream projects and release timeline.

The open source community outside OPNFV has M-CORD, X-RAN and TIP projects related to wireless open source. Currently the CORD project is in the process of OPNFV.

  • Identify any specific development be staged with respect to the upstream project and releases.
  • Are there any external fora or standard development organization dependencies. If possible, list and informative and normative reference specifications

C - RAN project will integrate OPNFV community kvmfornfv, ovsfornfv, Cyborg, yardstick and other projects, the external open source projects will follow DPDK, Linux, OAI, ONAP and other projects.

  • If project is an integration and test, identify hardware dependency.

The c-ran project needs to configure 82599 network Card during integration (SmartNic and FPGA needs to be integrated).

Committers and Contributors:

  • Names and affiliations of the committers

  • Names and affiliations of any other contributors

Planned deliverables:

  • Described the project release package as OPNFV or open source upstream projects.

The C-RAN project will release in the form of OPNFV Package.

  • If project deliverables have multiple dependencies across other project categories, described linkage of the deliverables.

When the C-RAN project is released, it will be defined by specific versions of the external open source community and submit documents and instructions related to community dependencies.

Proposed Release Schedule:

  • When is the first release planned?
  • Will this align with the current release cadence

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Key Project Facts

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