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Virtualised RAN’s Prospects: SK Telecom, NTT DOCOMO Release White Paper on Key Considerations for vRAN


SK Telecom and NTT DOCOMO, INC. (DOCOMO) today announced their joint release of the virtualised RAN (vRAN) white paper, “Key Considerations for vRAN: Insights from SK Telecom and DOCOMO.”

The white paper reviews the future prospects of vRAN base station equipment for telcos, leveraging the collective expertise of the two companies in network construction and operation. In addition to outlining expectations for base station equipment vendors, the paper provides technical insights tailored for telcos.

“I am delighted to announce the joint publication of this white paper summarising the technical outlook and insights on vRAN equipment development and technologies, as a new achievement resulting from the technical collaboration between SKT and DOCOMO that began in November 2022,” said Masafumi Masuda, GM and Head of RAN Technology Promotion Office at DOCOMO. “We look forward to further enhancing collaboration between the two companies and leading the industry ecosystem together towards the success of 5G Evolution and 6G.”

One of the two main themes of the paper is the direction of technological advancements crucial for the adoption of vRAN base station equipment. It highlights three key future requirements:

  • Increased processing capacity and reduced power consumption
  • Early implementation of key virtualisation capabilities, including resource pooling, scaling, and auto-healing
  • Enhanced integration technology and tools for vRAN base station equipment

A Technical Analysis for Virtualised RAN

The paper’s other main theme is on accelerator technologies for signal processing in vRAN base station equipment. It centers on conducting technical analysis of capacity, power consumption, and complexity across different accelerator structures and network architectures based on proprietary studies.

Virtualised RAN

Accelerator technologies for signal processing in vRAN base station equipment

In November 2022, SKT and DOCOMO signed a cooperation agreement to advance technology studies of next-generation telecommunications infrastructure for 5G evolution and 6G. In February 2023, the two companies jointly released two white papers, one on energy-efficient 5G mobile networks and related technologies, and the other on requirements for future 6G networks.

Moving forward, the two companies remain committed to collaborative efforts across diverse technical domains to establish a global ecosystem that encompasses cutting-edge industries and technologies.

“This white paper represents a significant milestone based on the strong collaboration between our two companies, building upon our joint publication last year on Green Mobile Networks and 6G Requirements white papers, ” said Yu Takki, Vice President and Head of Infra Tech Office at SKT. “We will continue our collaboration with global leading operators like DOCOMO to prepare for the evolution towards future networks.”

Click here to download the white paper.