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Top radio network performance and enhanced energy efficiency in no time

Top radio network performance and enhanced energy efficiency in no time

Digital approach is a must for 5G network design and optimization 

As the 5G adoption is accelerating around the world, operators need to rethink how they plan and optimize their radio networks to reach the highest performance levels in a sustainable way. Many operators are still running multiple layers of telecommunications technology from 2G, 3G and 4G to 5G, which increases the complexity of the networks. 

In the network planning phase, we must take into account the entire network topology including buildings and vegetation. With previous generations of radio technologies, desktop-based network planning with a variety of disconnected tools and 2D maps might have been sufficient, however, they are no longer an option for 5G. 

With 5G, there is a wide range of configuration options and countless possible beamforming patterns. 5G radios support low-band, mid-band and high-band frequencies, including propagation-sensitive millimeter wave spectrum. Furthermore, frequent software updates for performance and efficiency enhancements are typical in a 5G network. 

For an optimal 5G network design, you need deep RF expertise, high-accuracy 3D maps that precisely picture the topology of the coverage area, and powerful analytics tools for predicting the network behavior. 

Top network performance and enhanced energy efficiency right from the start

We are taking network design and optimization to the next level with our First Time Right digital approach. In a recent project in North America, our 3D design with sector-specific beam set optimization resulted in an average gain of 13% in downlink throughput and 7% in uplink throughput across all network clusters. 

Our design and optimization services do not only work against traditional performance KPIs but also help address the energy consumption of radio networks. This is a unique approach in the industry. It considers each individual cell in the network with respect to interference, load, and beam-set configuration, resulting in an optimized configuration and lower transmit power. It helps reduce energy consumption even during peak traffic hours. Any potential performance impact that is detected during the testing phase is compensated by 3D electrical tilt and beam-set re-adjustment.

MobiFone in Vietnam was the first operator in the world to leverage our Digital Design service for improving energy efficiency. We helped MobiFone reduce energy consumption by close to 14% just by adjusting radio output power on a cell level with no performance degradation. Read our case study to learn more about this project.

Top network performance needs RF expertise, powerful analytics and precise 3D maps

To make network design and optimization much faster and more accurate than ever before, we have created an integrated, cloud-native analytics tool ecosystem that powers all of our design and optimization services. It can process vast datasets including live data from the network, 3D map data, configuration data as well as beamforming patterns. Based on the analyzed data, we can precisely tune all relevant performance KPIs including capacity, coverage, quality and energy consumption. It helps our customers reduce costs and increase their Return on Investment.

The analytics tool ecosystem makes use of the latest radio product specifications with up-to-date information at all times, reflecting our deep RF expertise. It leverages a wealth of information including, for example, hundreds of thousands of beamforming patterns and a library of 3D propagation models based on thousands of measurements performed around the world – a real treasure for achieving an optimal design for any deployment scenario.

Let me give you an example. When operators first deploy Massive MIMO, they may choose to implement default beam sets based on the generic environment type. In most cases, this results in sub-optimal coverage and capacity. Our approach analyzes site-specific spatial distribution data and real network KPIs to select the best-fitting beamforming pattern for each radio site. 

Another key ingredient is our high-accuracy 3D maps with less than two-meter resolution that precisely picture the topology of the coverage area. Maps that use 2D design do not take buildings and vegetation into account leading to sub-optimal performance and unnecessary, costly field interventions.

Network design and optimization made easy 

All of the ingredients I have described come with the Nokia Network Planning and Optimization services – including the 3D maps. In fact, we have partnered with the leading map vendors, so there is no need for our customers to purchase expensive maps for their network planning purposes.

Think about your personal life: In the past, you bought physical maps before traveling. Now, you consume precise digital maps with additional rich information about hotels and restaurants, as well as digital navigation as a service

With our unique approach that combines innovative digital platforms, tailored data analytics and the deep knowledge of our certified radio experts, we can help you achieve the target network performance more than 30 percent faster compared to traditional methods. Find out more on our Network Planning and Optimization webpage.

Martin Holecek

About Martin Holecek

At Nokia, Martin is combining the technology and business side of innovation, and he is an author of many digitalization use cases. Martin is heading Mobile Networks Network Planning & Optimization (NPO) Service Unit since 2021. Right from the early days of 5G, he has been advocating for the transformative benefits of 5G in terms of mobile network spectrum efficiency and energy efficiency.

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