Nokia Commercializes Next-Generation 5G Cloud RAN

Nokia announced that its next-generation 5G AirScale Cloud RAN solution based on vRAN2.0 will be commercially available this year with general availability expected in 2021. Their first-generation 5G AirScale Cloud RAN based on vRAN1.0, which has a virtualized Central Unit (vCU), has been in commercial operation on a mmWave network in the U.S. since early 2019.

New vRAN2.0 introduces a virtualized Distributed Unit (vDU) as well as a Fronthaul Gateway. The result is a fully cloudified and disaggregated 5G base station that provides scalability, low latency, high performance and capacity, as well as several network architecture options, to meet ever-increasing market demands. The solution helps operators to generate revenue from new 5G services as well as to enable flexible end-to-end network slicing, meet IoT requirements and bring the overall benefits of cloud computing to Radio Access Networks (RAN).

The 5G AirScale Cloud RAN solution supports all architecture options, offering mobile and converged operators with a choice of RAN deployments: vDU and vCU can be co-located at a central or regional edge cloud; the vDU can be decentralized to an edge or far edge cloud, or the vDU can be located even at the cell site. Such flexibility is of paramount importance due to varying topologies and transport network needs even within the same network. Nokia’s 5G AirScale Cloud RAN software runs both on top of Nokia CloudBand and third party cloud infrastructure software stacks to provide maximum flexibility.

“The next-generation Nokia 5G AirScale Cloud RAN is a true innovation that will transform mobile networks and provide operators with the flexibility they need to meet the customer demands in the evolving 5G era. Its flexible architecture offers speed, coverage, capacity and low latency as well as the opportunity to generate revenues immediately,” said Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia.

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