Skip to main content

Going all in - how cloud RAN supports innovative ultra-low latency services

The Barcelona buzz from Mobile World Congress 2019 is that 5G has arrived big time and offers new performance levels to help build operators’ revenues.

Ultra-low latency was particularly highlighted, with analyst Mark Lowenstein of Mobile Ecosystem reportedly saying he saw: “a lot of creativity in demonstrating low-latency capabilities, which is one of the best use cases for 5G, and will help justify unique apps and business models.”1

Key to launching and running successful ultra-low latency services is a Cloud Radio Access Network (RAN) that provides the flexibility to scale capacity at will, launch and monetize services quickly and meet any level of latency. The Cloud RAN must support both 4G and 5G as well as powerful new capabilities such as AI, network slicing and IoT in the cloud.

Nokia played its part at MWC by launching a new Cloud RAN architecture - AirScale all-in-cloud base station for 4G and 5G - that brings operators the rapid response and extreme flexibility they need. Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN offers a flexible mix of local and cloud-based processing to deliver any capacity and service level.

Take the right path to the cloud RAN you need

The new Cloud RAN architecture also places the real-time functions in the cloud, enabling real-time baseband processing to be hosted at the network edge, close to the radio site to meet extremely low latency demands, with capacity where it is needed.  A choice of AirScale cloud base station deployments gives operators freedom to run radio functions where they can most cost-effectively meet application needs and latency performance demands at any location. They can also run in the network in parallel, complementing each other.

AirScale Cloud RAN supports centralized and distributed deployments that run Virtualized Network Functions (VNFs). Real time (RT) and non-real time (NRT) traffic processing can be split as required between centralized cloud platforms and edge cloud servers or base station hardware close to 4G and 5G radios.

The solution offers advanced scaling mechanisms on various virtual machines, allowing efficient use of resources in dense areas. As well as extended scalability and high pooling gains, new services can be rolled out more quickly.

Airscale diagram
New AirScale all-in-cloud base station places real-time functions in the cloud

Building the cloud RAN

Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN delivers high scalability, business agility with fast innovation and rapid software cycles, as well as efficient operations, while retaining maximum flexibility to meet unpredictable demand.

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

In addition, the Nokia AirFrame open edge server offers the optimum solution for a small far edge data center. This ultra-small footprint server is the first x86 solution developed for far edge cloud deployments, offering carrier-grade, high availability and flexible scalability from a single-server edge cloud to multi-rack solutions.


Proven performance

The solution has already been recognized as a game changer, being declared the winner of the Innovative Breakthrough in Mobile Technology Award of GTI Awards 2018. At MWC 2019, Nokia Multi-Access Edge Computing was the winner of the Innovative Mobile Service and Application Award of GTI Awards 2019.

Nokia AirScale cloud base station has also been proven in extensive field trials, with Verizon Wireless the first to trial the new Cloud RAN architecture.

Multiband capability is an integral part of Nokia Cloud RAN. It also provides the same features as classical solutions, ensuring a smooth migration from bare metal to the Cloud.

Low latency, easy scaling, rapid and flexible deployment and fast monetization - Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN is the route to gaining all that 5G has to offer.


Additional information

Watch Anna-Kaarina and Hannu discuss live on social media how Cloud RAN supports innovative ultra-low latency services and Nokia's leading edge solutions for 5G.

Share your thoughts on this topic by joining the Twitter discussion with @nokia and @nokianetworks using #CloudRAN, #4G, #5G, #AirScale


1 Source:

Anna-Kaarina Pietilä

About Anna-Kaarina Pietilä

Anna-Kaarina Pietilä is responsible for AirScale and AirScale Cloud RAN at Nokia. She enjoys writing blogs about these solutions and about innovative, high-quality software which improve smartphone experience and network capacity. She holds an MA from Åbo Akademi University and University of Turku and is based in Finland.

Tweet me at @annapietil

Article tags