CPRI (Common Public Radio Interface) defines criteria for connectivity and control communications between baseband units (BBUs) and remote radio heads (RRHs). The fronthaul network that interfaces between radio transceivers and base stations is the main focus of CPRI. One major benefit of CPRI is that it gives base station manufacturers one accepted protocol to implement. The specifications of CPRI are also made available to the public and allow them to contribute proposals to be added to the specifications.
In current mobile networks, there are two parts that make up the base transceiver station (BTS), the BBU that is located at the base of the tower and the RRH that is located at the top. The location of BBUs are beginning to move, with 4G and 5G networks, from the base of the tower to central offices near cell towers. When BBUs are in a centralized location it is called centralized RAN, or C-RAN.
BBU emulation streamlines the process of installing and repairing by allowing technicians to test the RRH infrastructure without a commissioned BBU. This is done by imitating BBU transmission and RRH communication without a BBU in the network. Being able to detect faults in the BBU transmission during installation through BBU emulation avoids a costly and time-consuming process by the mobile network operator.
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