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  • Nokia Open RAN (O-RAN) solutions will deliver world-class performance and security to the O-RAN ecosystem
  • Availability this year with full suite of O-RAN-defined interfaces expected in 2021.
  • Combined with the recently announced Nokia’s 5G AirScale Cloud RAN in vRAN 2.0 configuration, with full baseband in cloud, CSPs can build a flexible network architecture that maximizes performance, efficiency, and scalability
  • Nokia’s leadership in O-RAN R&D demonstrates commitment to an open innovation ecosystem and robust telecom supply chain
  • Nokia is the only global RAN supplier fully committed to O-RAN with commercial 5G Cloud-RAN networks 

Bengaluru, NFAPost: Nokia nnounced that it is enhancing its industry leadership in open solutions by rapidly ramping up the adoption of Open RAN (O-RAN) interfaces in its AirScale portfolio.

This enhancement to its radio access network (RAN) portfolio aims to enable an open ecosystem of innovation and a robust telecom supply chain, while ensuring world-class network performance and security.

These new O-RAN capabilities, which include open interfaces, will be built on top of Nokia’s existing AirScale software, providing the same high-level performance, expansive functionalities and robust security standards of Nokia’s current radio products.

By taking the approach of building the open interfaces on top of its existing solutions, Nokia is helping to prepare for the network architecture of the future, regardless if CSPs choose to pursue an O-RAN path or not. An initial set of O-RAN functionalities will become available this year, while the full suite of O-RAN-defined interfaces is expected to be available in 2021.

As the only global RAN provider to commit to O-RAN, Nokia’s accelerated investment in and firm commitment to O-RAN provides CSPs as well as regulators and political decision-makers with greater assurance that they can embrace openness to secure their telecom supply chain, without concerns about the competitiveness and/or security of their 5G infrastructure.

Nokia has already made significant investments in O-RAN by leading the early deployment of the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and the open fronthaul.

Last year, AT&T and Nokia announced their collaboration to co-develop the RIC software platform, in alignment with the O-RAN Alliance target architecture, to accelerate the creation of open source software for the 5G RAN. The intent is to create open interfaces and an open ecosystem of interoperable components that will enable rapid, flexible service deployments and programmability within the RAN. The RIC software is available at the O-RAN Software Community.

For the recent trial, AT&T and Nokia ran a series of external applications, called “xApps,” at the edge of AT&T’s live 5G mmWave network on an Akraino-based Open Cloud Platform. The xApps used in the trial were designed to improve spectrum efficiency, as well as offer geographical and use case-based customization and rapid feature onboarding.

Ultimately, the trial achieved its test goals. Both companies tested the RAN E2 interface and xApp management and control, collected live network data using the Measurement Campaign xApp, the neighbor relation management using Automated Neighbor Relation (ANR) xApp, and tested RAN control via the Admission Control xApp – all with zero interruption to the live commercial network.

Nokia also recently announced the next generation of its AirScale Cloud RAN portfolio. As Nokia’s solutions utilize the same software trunk across RAN, Cloud RAN and O-RAN, Nokia customers will benefit from the ultimate flexibility to define their network architecture without sacrificing network features, performance, or security.

Nokia Mobile Networks President Tommi Uitto said Nokia is committed to leading the open mobile future by investing in Open RAN and Cloud RAN solutions with the aim of enabling a robust telecom ecosystem with strong network performance and security.

“Nokia’s Cloud RAN solution leads the market and is continuing to evolve to a cloud-native architecture. We have ​the scale and capabilities to address the increased customer demand for this technology, underpinned by the world-class network performance and security that only Nokia can deliver,” said Nokia Mobile Networks President Tommi Uitto.

Mobile Experts Principal Analyst Joe Madden said several operators have now committed to Open RAN, due to the enhanced flexibility that O-RAN can bring.

“New operators are fully committing to Open RAN and alternative hardware vendors throughout their networks, and legacy operators are using O-RAN to create opportunities for innovative new products to fit into their complex networks. This overall trend strengthens the ecosystem and allows for specialty radios to address the infinite variety of real-world applications,” said obile Experts Principal Analyst Joe Madden.

Mobile Experts Principal Analyst Joe Madden said Nokia is the only major vendor that has fully committed to actively developing the O-RAN interfaces, ensuring that its 5G RAN solutions will support the future open ecosystem the operators are seeking.

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