White Paper, AFL, Cloud and Edge Computing
Mass 5G prompts networks to be expandable, flexible and accessible

As 5G deployments continue toward the goal of ubiquitous coverage, two apparently conflicting trends are developing: C-RAN and Edge Computing.

C-RAN, or Centralized/Cloud Radio Access Network, is an architecture in which active equipment – most notably BaseBand Unit (BBU) – gets moved away from the network edge and centralized or moved to “the cloud”.

Edge computing is a trend by which more applications are hosted, and hence, more active equipment required – closer to the end user or closer to the network edge.

This paper will discuss why these two apparently diametrically opposed trends are happening and will identify their drivers. It will also prove that there won’t necessarily be an inevitable “collision,” but Service Providers will need to plan for each of these trends with a network that is expandable, flexible and accessible.


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Josh Simer is AFL’s Market Manager for Service Providers and MSOs. With 13 years of experience in the fiber optics industry, Josh has served in multiple roles including product, solution and program management with customers ranging from Service Providers, MSOs, Utilities, Co-ops, Enterprises, and Data Center Operators.