How Much Computing Capability Is Enough to Run a Cloud Radio Access Network?
Cloud radio access network (C-RAN) has emerged as a promising solution to support exponentially increasing demand in data rate. The attractive capacity enhancement mainly comes from centralized and coordinated processing, which poses great challenges on computing capability in the baseband unit pool. This requires the efficient allocation of computing resources to minimize the hardware and energy costs of C-RANs. Therefore, in this letter, we first model the computing resource consumption of joint downlink transmissions from remote radio heads (RRHs) to users. Then, we investigate the computing resource minimization problem on how much computing capability is needed given certain number of RRHs and user density. Numerical results show that the computing resource consumption increases non-linearly with the user density. In particular, the required computing resource drastically increases when densely populated hotspots are present in the system.