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Nokia and CMCC deliver world's first AI-powered cloud VR experience over O-RAN architecture on CMCC live 5G network

  • Nokia and CMCC set a new industry benchmark for AI-enabled edge cloud performance in a live 5G (NSA) network with successful field trial of VR gaming application
  • As the first equipement vendor to join the O-RAN Alliance, which fosters an open RAN ecosystem, Nokia worked closely with the China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) to research and test artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning techniques in 5G use cases
  • The Nokia commercial-ready 5G base station, AirScale, and its leading CU/DU split cloud RAN architecture successfully used an AI-powered edge cloud to ensure quality of experience (QoE) for a live VR gaming experience.

22 February 2019

Espoo, Finland - Nokia today announced the successful field trial of its Cloud RAN architecture on CMCC's live 5G NSA network. Using the Nokia 5G commercial-ready AirScale base station, Nokia and China Mobile Research Institute (CMRI) successfully trialed a VR gaming application based on  an AI-powered cloud RAN edge computing platform. This was the first successful test of the AI-enabled edge cloud for ensuring an extreme 5G user experience and proves the commercial readiness of the Nokia Cloud RAN split CU/DU architecture for 5G networks.

As commercial 5G networks prepare to roll out around the world, the CMCC field trials on their live 5G NSA network in Shanghai are a critical test bed for vendors of 5G equipment. As a founding member of the O-RAN alliance, CMCC's research arm, CMRI, has been driving to  set industry norms and benchmarks for 5G performances. Nokia is the first vendor to join the alliance and has been working closely with CMRI on the design of it 5G field trials.

At the recent tests, Nokia and CMCC successfully completed the cloud RAN field trials with its open RAN CU/DU split architecture. Using the Nokia AirScale base station, the companies also successfully tested the AI machine learning related functions over O-RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) architecture, including the Nokia AI deep learning inference functionality and communication interface for AI model deployment and management. The Nokia ML algorithms were successful at responding to test-induced network contention issues with automatic, accurate and near-real-time response to ensure QoE for live VR gamers. The test proves the commercial readiness of the Nokia cloud RAN technology, which will enable operators to have the capability of radio networks to respond autonomously to application requirements, which is a potential new service mode.

Huang Yuhong, Deputy Director of China Mobile Research Institute, said: "China Mobile has put effort into the AI-assisting RAN network technology. With the help of big data and machine learning applying to the 5G network, we are pleased to provide great services' experience to our customers in the Shanghai area. In the field trial with our partner Nokia, we proved the availability of the Cloud RAN infrastructure and the benefit of the RIC to ensure service experience under the O-RAN architecture which is an important step towards commercial use."

Tommi Uitto, President of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: "As our customers worldwide gear up for 5G, we are ready to support with our end to end 5G portfolio. The CMCC 5G field trials were an important opportunity to test our open Cloud RAN architecture on a live 5G network and demonstrate how our AI-enabled edge cloud performs in extreme real-time use case such as VR. Our partnership with China Mobile proves the commercial readiness of our Cloud RAN solutions across technologies."

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