5G Radio Access Network Architecture: Design Guidelines and Key Considerations

Marsch P., Da Silva I., Bulakci O., Tesanovic M., El Ayoubi S. E., Rosowski T., ...More

IEEE COMMUNICATIONS MAGAZINE, vol.54, no.11, pp.24-32, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 54 Issue: 11
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1109/mcom.2016.1600147cm
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.24-32
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


While there is clarity on the wide range of applications that are to be supported by 5G cellular communications, and standardization of 5G has now started in 3GPP, there is no conclusion yet on the detailed design of the overall 5G RAN. This article provides a comprehensive overview of the 5G RAN design guidelines, key design considerations, and functional innovations as identified and developed by key players in the field. 1 It depicts the air interface landscape that is envisioned for 5G, and elaborates on how this will likely be harmonized and integrated into an overall 5G RAN, in the form of concrete control and user plane design considerations and architectural enablers for network slicing, supporting independent business-driven logical networks on a common infrastructure. The article also explains key functional design considerations for the 5G RAN, highlighting the difference to legacy systems such as LTE-A and the implications of the overall RAN design.