Alcatel-Lucent, Intel and China Mobile recreated a trial that virtualized an LTE radio access network on a server. This process takes the most intricate and costly part of a cellular network, the base station, and puts it into a data center
. By doing this, a mobile carrier no longer needs to worry about building enough processing capacity into every cell to handle peak traffic conditions.
It is predicted that in 2016, carriers will be ready to move the big honking signaling gateways onto software and start the first implementation of a virtual radio network.