After having ventured into the 5th generation (5G) end‐to‐end (E2E) system architecture in Chapter 5, we will now focus on the radio access network (RAN) architecture, i.e. covering all aspects of a 5G system in the so‐called access stratum (AS). Key points we will explore here are:
- How do 5G use case requirements as listed in Chapter 2 translate into RAN architecture requirements?
- What will the 5G protocol stack architecture look like, in particular: Which differences to that of the 4th generation (4G) of cellular communications will we see, to which extent will it be possible to tailor the protocol stack architecture and related network functions (NFs) to diverse service needs, and how will multi‐service and multi‐tenancy be reflected?
- How will the 5G RAN natively support RAN‐based multi‐connectivity?
- What are reasonable function splits in the 5G RAN, which logical entities will we consequently see, and how will these enable the support of diverse deployment scenarios?
- What are the key enablers for RAN programmability, as discussed in the context of the ...