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Nokia Cloud RAN

At the leading edge of 5G

Cloud RAN is becoming commercially available

As the industry is increasingly adopting 5G, flexible and scalable solutions are needed to fully deliver on the 5G promise.

Cloud RAN is about meeting the requirement for edge computing as an enabler for new use cases. Furthermore, operators are looking for ways to benefit from the private wireless business opportunity. Cloud RAN can be referred to as Virtualized Radio Access Network (vRAN). Its characteristics include agility, scalability, flexibility and openness. Nokia Cloud RAN brings the needed cost efficiency and resource efficiency for Communication Service Providers and Enterprises. It complements the existing network assets, helps operators build synergies with enterprise on-premises cloud, and paves the way for 6G. Nokia Cloud RAN is providing feature and performance consistency and interworking with classical RANs from day 1.

Nokia has demonstrated through numerous successful trial projects that it can be deployed effectively and is poised for commercial availability. A1 Bulgaria, Elisa, Etisalat, Vodafone Italy, stc among others, have already successfully operated Nokia Cloud RAN and proven its capabilities, paving the way for the commercial availability of Cloud RAN.

What is Cloud RAN?

Cloud RAN introduces an architectural evolution to Radio Access Networks. It means that RAN hardware and software are disaggregated: To take full advantage of the cloud-computing model, the functions are built with cloud-native design. With RAN virtualization, it is possible to use shared edge infrastructure for edge cloud deployments. This architectural evolution is about introducing 5G radio capacity for new services in the enterprise space.

Hardware acceleration technology is a critical element in Cloud RAN performance. Nokia In-Line architecture option implemented with a specialized high-performance accelerator, Nokia Cloud RAN SmartNIC. Nokia SmartNIC  provides performance parity between Purpose-built RAN and Cloud RAN environments, and it is an energy-efficient solution with an optimal capacity/power ratio for demanding L1 processing.

Why is Cloud RAN important?

Cloud RAN drives the next level of network agility for CSPs and Enterprises in collaboration with the industry ecosystem. Reliable, real-time wireless connectivity is a game-changing application in the enterprise IT environments. For mobile operators, Cloud RAN brings the opportunity to deliver innovative technologies and services that help establish new business and revenue models with enterprises with a fast time-to-market. It also opens the door for closer collaboration with public cloud providers. 

Shared cloud infrastructure helps use network resources more efficiently and cost effectively. Enterprise applications can be co-hosted with 5G Cloud RAN in the on-premises cloud at the edge of the network. Network operations can be automated and simplified in a non-telecom environment for further synergies.

What is the role of Cloud RAN in digital transformation?

Digital technologies are transforming industries and enhancing productivity in a completely different scale than ever before. 5G Cloud RAN helps physical industries embrace the benefits of digitalization. Today, digital industries such as online retail, media and banking are way ahead of physical industries in adopting digitalization. 5G Cloud RAN is the reliable, real-time adhesive between the physical and digital worlds, helping industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, transportation, logistics, mining, and energy to jump start their digital transformation with private wireless connectivity.


Cloud RAN stepping alongside purpose-built RAN in customer networks

Read our case studies to learn how the Nokia anyRAN approach to Cloud RAN supports our customers’ data center and cloud infrastructure strategy.

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