Nokia accelerates availability of Open RAN for AirScale Portfolio

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Nokia 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.

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.

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, 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.”

Joe Madden, Principal Analyst at Mobile Experts, 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. 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.”