02/02/2020|Products & Plans

What are Radio Access Networks and 5G RAN?

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What is a radio access network?

Cell phones use radio waves to communicate by converting your voice and data into digital signals to send through as radio waves. In order for your cell phone to connect to a network or the internet, it connects first through a radio access network (RAN). Radio access networks utilize radio transceivers to connect you to the cloud. Most base stations (aka transceivers) are primarily connected via fiber backhaul to the mobile core network.

A RAN provides radio access and assists to coordinate network resources across wireless devices. Devices primarily connect to cellular network via LTE or 5G NR connections. Silicon chips in the core network as well as the user equipment (like your phone or laptop) help enable the functionality of the RAN.

What is 5G RAN?

Radio access networks have evolved over the years as cellular technology is now at 5G. Today, RANs can support multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) antennas, wide spectrum bandwidths, multi-band carrier aggregation and more.

This evolution of RAN for 5G will have a huge impact on wireless technologies, including enabling Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and network slicing. These RANs of the future will also contribute to the lower latency that makes 5G so powerful.

Find out more about Verizon’s 5G network and see how it will have an impact on your life—and on society.

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