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The future just got simpler – NSN Single RAN Advanced evolution

This blog is by Harry Kuosa at Nokia Solutions and Networks.

Just as the mixer is the core part of any DJ setup, radio access technology is the core of operator networks. Both have soared in complexity, but are key to maintaining control.


For operators, the deployment of LTE alongside existing GSM and HSPA layers is adding complexity in radio access networks (RAN). Not only is a new radio technology involved, along with a raft of new frequency bands, but new IP-based backhaul transport needed for LTE must be added on top of the existing ATM and TDM backhaul transport networks. It may feel like the DJ’s turntable is spinning out of control as costs spiral with each additional layer.

Fortunately, the future just got simpler thanks to our new Single RAN Advanced Solution.

New white paper

Our new white paper, “Single RAN Advanced Evolution: The future just got simpler”, discusses Single RAN evolution in depth, covering topics like System Module (base band) sharing, security, and the addition of a cloud component to the Single RAN Advanced solution.

Looking back to 2007, Elisa Finland launched the world’s first commercial WCDMA re-farmed network with NSN’s help. In 2008, we followed it up with another industry first: a commercial Single RAN product, the Flexi Multiradio Base Station. In 2011, the re-farming solution was complemented by the RF sharing software feature. Today, NSN is market leader in LTE and HSPA re-farming with over 100 references, and in RF sharing with over 65 references.

As successful as Single RAN is, things never stand still and the technology has huge potential for further development under the banner of Single RAN Advanced.

The idea behind Single RAN is simple – operating different radio technologies on a single all-in-one platform. In its most developed form, Single RAN will comprise one radio installation with common IP/Ethernet transport and an operational and management system with integrated, unified security. In addition, it enables the coordination and operation of different RATs (Radio Access Technology) in a unified way, as well as being able to use existing RATs to bring the best performance by coordinating their advantages. This makes Single RAN products ideal for legacy network modernization. Our Single RAN Advanced solution is future-proof, allowing the use of the modules for Flexi Multiradio Base Station delivered in 2008 to be combined with the latest Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station modules which can also be evolved to LTE-A and HSPA+.

But this is just the beginning. We’re on the cusp of a huge change with smart devices driving massive demand for data capacity, which is estimated to be 1000 times higher by 2020 (NSN Technology Vision 2020 #1GBperday$).

At NSN we continue to develop our Single RAN Advanced portfolio to help operators further simplify their networks in a big way and ensure that all hardware deployed will remain usable in the future to protect their investments. Many solutions exist today, but radio access network projects are huge. And just as NSN Single RAN Advanced has taken several years to reach its current state of development and implementation by hundreds of operators, we can expect its further evolution to take place step-by-step over the coming years.

We have more to share on NSN Single RAN Advanced here.