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Nokia Eyes Pole Position in Open Mobile Future with New O-RAN on Cloud Innovations

Nokia has doubled down on its efforts to lead the open mobile future with Open Radio Access Network (O-RAN) solutions. With its newly drafted commitments for the 5G mobile telecom era, Nokia intends to put its world-class O-RAN solutions at the heart of every telecom chain in the world.

Currently, the O-RAN technology is driving the 5G movement across continents, with leading telecom player such as AT&T, Deutsche Telecom, NTT DOCOMO, Orange and others. The telecom companies have joined to form O-RAN Alliance, a by-product of the explosive innovations and development opportunities in the next-gen wireless networking and mobile infrastructure.

5G could be moving to its advanced stage and open avenues for foundational 6G research. Nokia is heading straight for the advanced 5G to lay 6G research with AirScale solutions.

In May 2020, Nokia joined the Open RAN Coalition Policy to further secure the future of mobile radio technologies with its own expertise in delivering telecom services. These include 3GPP for 3G, 4G/LTE, and 5G.

Also Read: DISH Enters Retail Wireless Market With Close Of Boost Mobile, Standalone 5G Network

Nokia’s Open RAN solutions are in sync with its AirScale software which guarantees advanced-level security features delivered on top of hyper-speed performance and open mobile interfaces. The expansive functions will debut this year followed by a more detailed release of the O-RAN for 5G open mobile network in 2020.

Nokia has confirmed in its official statement.

What is O-RAN?

In its most contemporary context, Open RAN solutions could apply to all the generations of mobile networking — 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G. Open RAN is a networking framework in the telecommunications industry that break the siloes between the hardware and software to create a more open, flexible and user-friendly interface. Cloud RAN and Open RAN are considered as the most advanced infrastructure solutions that are virtualizing the entire mobile ecosystem.

These are two different technologies but work together to separate not only hardware and software baseband, but also meet the dynamic needs of 5G services with real-time distributed units.

Did you know that Nokia was the first vendor to provide the world’s first Cloud RAN for the 5G ecosystem?

It was established in North America. Since then, Nokia has been part of many ORAN alliances that are constantly analyzing and improving the 5G standards related to 3GPP, the Linux Foundation’s ONAP initiative, ETSI’s Multi-access Edge Computing (MEC) initiative, and more.

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In recent months, we have seen several telecom companies committing to Open RAN.

The single-most factor driving this push is the enhanced flexibility and security in the 5G era. Telecom operators are working and co-developing O-RAN specific infrastructure. The O-RAN alliances also include alternative hardware vendors and legacy operators who are slated to play a much larger role once O-RAN becomes more ubiquitous and refined its deployment benchmarks. Something that Nokia has aimed to achieve with its latest O-RAN on AirScale Cloud announcement.

Did you Know:

 27 percent of operators will deploy 5G SA within 12-18 months with a further 10 percent within 24 months. With the maturity of 3GPP standards, such as the Release 16 freeze in March 2020, operators now see a clear path to 5G SA infrastructure. 

Currently, it is acknowledged that Nokia is the only major hardware vendor to actively demonstrate its  O-RAN interfaces linked with the 5G RAN solutions.

AT&T 5GmmWave on Nokia O-RAN AirScale

The news of Nokia’s O-RAN commitments comes within weeks of the company’s successful trial of the RAN Intelligent Controller over commercial 5G solutions. It achieved the feat by co-partnering with AT&T. The live trial was performed on AT&T’s 5G mmWave network in New York City and network Edge ran on Akraino-based Open Cloud Platform.

As part of Nokia’s O-RAN roadmap to build the future of open mobile in 2020, it also up-scaled its existing AirScale Cloud RAN portfolio. It is worth mentioning that the AirScale Cloud is used across RAN, Cloud RAN, and O-RAN by customers to secure an intelligent and flexible 5G network with zero interruption in commercial applications.

At the time of this announcement, Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia explained why his company is laser-focused on building the Open Mobile future, keeping the Nokia Open RAN and Cloud RAN solutions at the center.

Tommi said, “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.”

Read Also: Nokia Announced As Key Supplier To Ireland’s National Broadband Plan

As we head into the new 5G era, Open RAN solutions would find much-wider acceptance. It wouldn’t be a surprise to see the amalgamation of disparate thoughts and efforts to make a successful migration to Cloud or O-RAN based 5G framework globally. What it will take is the coming together of all the policymakers, operators and equipment providers in promoting a flexible, secured ecosystem of interlinked open systems, 2020’s best 5G technologies and may be, even lay the foundations of the next era — the 6G.

Source: Nokia Open RAN

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