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Definition: RAN

(Radio Access Network) The air interface in a cellular network. The RAN resides between the user's mobile devices and the core network. It is the most costly and process-intensive part of a cellular base station. See air interface.

RAN Versions
GSM RAN (GRAN) was the early voice-only GSM air interface, while GSM EDGE RAN (GERAN) added packet-switched data. UMTS Terrestrial RAN (U-TRAN) is the 3G interface, and Evolved-UMTS Terrestrial RAN (E-UTRAN) is the LTE interface. See Open RAN, CRAN, vRAN, 2G/3G architecture, LTE architecture, LTE, 3G, UMTS and GSM.