Verizon, Sprint and others look to C-RAN to maximize their networks

According to Wells Fargo, Verizon is testing a C-RAN configuration in San Francisco that allows it to minimize how much equipment it is using. Separately, Sprint is investing in C-RAN architecture networking gear as part of its Next Generation Network densification plan.

C-RAN -- which can mean either Cloud-RAN (radio access network) or Centralized RAN -- uses a single remote radio head at the cell site, which reduces power consumption. Vendors include Ericsson, Huawei, SpiderCloud and others.

Although not everyone is sold on C-RAN, the market continues to ramp up and the technology is likely to play a role in 5G. Which means it's likely to have an impact not just on carriers but also on tower companies, network gear vendors and others in the mobile infrastructure market. Special Report