Mobile communication network sharing refers to the sharing of infrastructure or communication equipment among multiple operators. The infrastructure includes towers, buildings, and equipment rooms used for deploying base stations, whilst the communication equipment includes RAN, transport network, and CN equipment.
Network resource sharing includes active sharing and passive sharing.
- Passive sharing refers to the sharing of infrastructure such as antenna poles (towers), and passive equipment in transport networks.
- Active sharing refers to the sharing of infrastructure in RANs such as base stations, including those used for RAN sharing and national inter-CN roaming.
3GPP Standardised RAN sharing solutions support operators which intend to share radio resources.
The Difference between MOCN and MORAN
In MORAN, multiple independent carriers are configured and the PLMN IDs of operators are broadcasted on the carriers. Baseband Units (BBUs) are shared, and connected to Remote Radio Units (RRUs) and Active Antenna Units (AAUs) provided by the same vendor of BBUs. Each carrier is independently configured and managed. The RAN infrastructure provides logically and physically separated cell resources and core network connectivity on a per-operator basis.
The MORAN solution features simple RAN infrastructure sharing and O&M and is applicable to scenarios where operators need to maintain service and deployment independence in shared networks.
In MOCN, one or more carriers are configured for frequency sharing. Operators share their cells – physically and logically; in each cell, multiple Public Land Mobile Networks (PLMNs) are broadcasted. Sharing radio resources among participating operators is performed according to service level agreements.
Parameterization of cell-level features needs to be negotiated among all operators. UEs accessing shared cells select one of the broadcast PLMNs and communicate this selection to the gNodeB, which connects UEs to their (selected) core network. MOCN is used when operator A has a spectrum license, and the operator does not have a spectrum license but would like to use the spectrum of operator A.
We can say that MORAN is about a more independent network and MOCN is about the unified way of network implementation and sharing.