September 24, 2013 07:00 ET

iGR Study Forecasts the Global CapEx and OpEx Impact of Mobile LTE RAN Virtualization on the Mobile Operators

New Webinar Recording Discusses Mobile RAN and Mobile EPC Virtualization

AUSTIN, TX--(Marketwired - Sep 24, 2013) - Mobile virtualization is a hot topic in the wireless industry today, especially with AT&T's recent announcement of Domain 2.0, its plan to overhaul its vendor relationships and move to a virtualized network architecture. iGR's research shows that over the next few years, mobile operators around the world will increasingly virtualize all parts of their networks to reduce CapEx and OpEx.

That said, there is considerable lack of knowledge as to what constitutes mobile virtualization and how and when it will be implemented by mobile operators. One type of virtualization, mobile RAN (radio access network) virtualization, involves splitting the conventional base station into a Remote Radio Head (RRH) or Remote Radio Unit (RRU) and a pooled group of baseband processors, referred to as a BTS hotel.

Virtualization is also occurring in the mobile packet core (the EPC - Evolved Packet Core) -- this will be the subject of a future iGR research study. iGR also conducted a webinar on the Mobile Virtualization, discussing both the RAN and EPC, on September 19th, 2013. An archive recording of this webinar is available for free download at:

By using a mobile RAN virtualization architecture, mobile network operators can place RRH/RRUs where required and then connect them to the baseband unit via fiber optic. The baseband units are located in a convenient data center. In a metro market, for example, the baseband units serving multiple RRH/RRUs can be co-located, pooled and can use standard hardware, hence reducing cost, improving reliability and easing maintenance. The pooling would allow lightly and heavily loaded RRH/RRUs to be load-balanced across the pool.

"Mobile RAN virtualization provides significant cost savings through reduced CapEx and OpEx," said Iain Gillott, president and founder of iGR, a market research consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile industry. "In addition to these savings benefits, the solution also potentially provides improved spectrum utilization by using RRHs as small cells, increased flexibility of the RAN, and increased capacity and performance of the overall network with intelligent switching of the baseband units and RRH."

iGR's new market research report, Global Mobile LTE RAN Virtualization Forecast, 2013-2017: Benefit of the BTS Hotel, discusses the potential impact of mobile RAN virtualization, including base station hoteling, the potential benefits both in terms of CapEx and OpEx to operators deploying LTE, and the global implications. The report forecasts the potential CapEx and OpEx benefits at the global level and for each of the following six regions: North America, Latin America, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Japan.

The following key questions are addressed in the new research study:

  • What is mobile RAN virtualization?
  • What types of mobile RAN virtualization exist and how do they differ?
  • What are the current standards efforts associated with mobile RAN virtualization?
  • What is the current status of CRPI and how is it used in mobile RAN virtualization?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses associated with mobile RAN virtualization?
  • What new business models are enabled by mobile RAN virtualization?
  • What is the potential opportunity for BTS hoteling?
  • How much are the mobile operators expected to spend globally on LTE RANs in terms of CapEx and OpEx?
  • What are the potential savings associated with mobile LTE RAN virtualization for the world's mobile operators (by region) in terms of CapEx and OpEx?
  • What is the potential impact of mobile RAN virtualization on the mobile infrastructure OEMs such as Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson, Cisco, Nokia Solutions & Networks, Samsung, ZTE and Huawei?

The information in this report will be valuable for:

  • Mobile network operators and MVNOs
  • Mobile infrastructure OEMs
  • Small cell vendors and OEMs
  • Cellular tower companies and data center vendors
  • Virtualization software and solution vendors
  • Financial analysts and investors.

The new report can be purchased and downloaded directly from iGR's website at Alternatively, contact Iain Gillott at (512) 263-5682 or at for additional details.

About iGR
iGR is a market strategy consultancy focused on the wireless and mobile communications industry. Founded by Iain Gillott, one of the wireless industry's leading analysts, in late 2000 as iGillottResearch, iGR is now entering its thirteenth year of operation. iGR continuously researches emerging and existent technologies, technology industries, and consumer markets. We use our detailed research to offer a range of services to help companies improve their position in the marketplace, clearly define their future direction, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

iGR researches a range of wireless and mobile products and technologies, including: smartphones; tablets; mobile applications; bandwidth demand and use; small cell architectures; DAS; LTE; WiMAX; VoLTE; IMS; NFC; GSM/GPRS/UMTS/HSPA; CDMA 1x/EV-DO; iDEN; SIP; macro-, pico- and femtocells; mobile backhaul; WiFi and WiFi offload; and SIM and UICC.

A more complete profile of the company can be found at

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