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AirScale Baseband

Efficiency, flexibility and scalability for the 5G era

Space- and energy-efficient, high-performance baseband processing for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G leveraging common systems for all radio cells on low, mid and high (millimeterWave) frequency bands. 

AirScale System Module

This baseband module is designed to be agile and enable long-term network evolution. The in-node modularity of the AirScale System Module is key to lean entry and decoupled scalability of the compute power for radio access network layers 1, 2, and 3 and integrated transport functionality – essential for the rapidly changing traffic requirements of new use cases and deployment scenarios of the 5G era.

The AirScale System Module simplifies 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G Single RAN deployments, streamlines multi-band sites and powers multi-site baseband hotels.

The concept of in-node scalability through addition and coexistence of Single RAN plug-in cards for base and high capacity requirements optimizes total cost of ownership (TCO). Plugging-in the latest cards, when and where additional frequency layers or network densification demand the extra capacity, ensures access to the latest high-performance, energy efficient technology, while maximizing the use phase of the installed base.

Nokia AirScale baseband plug-in cards

Scaling capacity made flexible and efficient

The latest AirScale baseband plug-in cards drive capacity up to 84 Gbps throughput and 90,000 simultaneously connected users. This is the capacity to drive 5G forward, towards more immersive user experiences and advanced enterprise use cases. Thanks to the use of the latest technology, these cards are highly efficient and decouple traffic growth from power consumption.

  • Leverage the modularity of AirScale baseband: new and earlier plug-in cards work together - ensuring latest SoC injection into the installed base
  • Granular in-node composability: the right upgrade steps 
  • Common system (Single RAN) for 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G.

A step change in data speed

Up to 8x higher throughput

A step change in energy efficiency

Up to 75% reduced power consumption for baseband

Flexibility through in-node modularity

For efficient and flexible capacity scaling for all traffic needs

Powered by latest Nokia ReefShark SoCs

For efficient capacity and performance scaling

Nokia AirScale baseband

AirScale compact native outdoor baseband products

The AirScale baseband portfolio includes compact native outdoor products, ideal for entry to medium capacity sites, enabling deployment of additional baseband functionality where needed and simplified modernization of existing sites.


Nokia Liquid Cooling Technology

Typically, about 80% of a mobile network’s total energy consumption relates to base station sites. Around 30% of which relates to the cooling systems typically used to cool the site equipment. Understandably, eliminating power-hungry cooling systems can significantly reduce both CO2 emissions and energy bills.

As a result, Nokia has pioneered the use of alternatives to forced-air cooling. The AirScale System Module is now available in either traditional air-cooled or innovative liquid-cooled versions. Both products provide the same capabilities, features and use the same software.

Typical use cases where liquid-cooling should be considered

  • Baseband hotels generate significant amounts of heat. Liquid-cooling provides an opportunity to benefit from the otherwise wasted heat and possibly monetizing it
  • Shelters with poor ventilation
  • Noise restricted sites. The liquid-cooled baseband sub-rack has no fans and is therefore quiet.


Liquid cooling has several benefits compared to traditional air cooled solutions

Nokia Liquid Cooling

Liquids can transfer 4000 times more heat than air

Reducing cooling system energy consumption by up to 90%

Enables heat capture and use

Using the heat generated by the baseband, for instance for heating a building, can reduce baseband CO2 emissions by 80%

Helps increase equipment installation density by over 100%

Especially useful in sites with heat dissipation challenges e.g. poor ventilation, or where site space in limited

Sites become virtually silent

With typical noise level down to 29 dBA

Comprehensive baseband and far edge solution portfolio

Increasingly baseband functionality also needs to be considered at the edge of the network. Nokia AirFrame Open Edge server shares the same form factor as the AirScale System Module. It can run any far edge workload, from virtualized RAN to O-RAN near-real-time RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) to Multi-Access Edge-Computing (MEC), to the 5G Core User Plane Function.

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