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Aug 19 2019

A giant leap for 5G Cloud RAN

With the world celebrating the first moon landing this summer, we at Nokia are marking our own historic event – the world’s first commercially deployed cloud-based 5G radio access network is live in North America. Serving the needs of people in one of the busiest cities in the US, this is a significant achievement and sets the stage for further innovations.

Cloud RAN is key to achieving higher scalability and a more agile business. Innovation speeds up as software cycles become more rapid, so new services are rolled out faster. And all this while improving operational efficiency and retaining maximum flexibility to meet unpredictable demand in dense areas.

It also includes a comprehensive feature set that offers high availability, keeping cloud-based RAN networks robust and reliable.

World's first cloud-based 5G network live

This 5G milestone was made possible by our cloud base station, which splits traffic to ensure each connection gets the service it needs - time-critical functions are processed at the cell site by our high performance AirScale distributed units (DU) close to the radios, connected via Ethernet fronthaul, while the centralized control unit (CU) performs non-real-time functions fully virtualized and more cost-effectively in a centralized data center.

This flexible mix of local and cloud-based processing is a real game changer - Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN delivers any capacity and service level and supports centralized and distributed deployments that run Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs).

This means that we can combine performance, scalability and efficiency at its best – in the radio unit (RU), distributed unit (DU) and centralized unit (CU).

Diagram AirScale

“Nokia maintains vRAN thought leadership among major RAN vendors.”

Ed Gubbins, Senior Analyst, Telecom Technology & Software – GlobalData

Continued Cloud RAN leadership

This unique achievement proves the value of a comprehensive portfolio, combined with the cross domain knowledge needed to deliver a complete 5G solution. Nokia AirScale base band and Anyhaul transport, together with Cloud RAN, forms a winning combination in 5G radio access and, with new stand-alone architectures on the horizon, cloud-native core networks will be key to scaling up your business.

As service providers deploy 5G, they will face the need to extend their subscriber base and offer new types of services to address the enterprise market, particularly those in the industrial sectors, where performance and reliability is key. With Cloud RAN providing a platform for further innovations to serve these sectors, the sky is the limit for 5G to deliver extraordinary service.

Further reading:

Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN wins the GTI Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology Award 2018

Nokia Multi-Access Edge Computing wins GTI Award in 2019

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokianetworks or @nokia using #5G #cloud #innovation #CloudRAN #telcocloud 

About Mark Atkinson

Mark heads the 5G & Small Cells Business Unit within Nokia Mobile Networks Business Group. Working closely with customers and vast experience in telecommunications is the method for creating a market leading portfolio and delivering valuable solutions to customers.

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