Nokia has expanded its mobile fronthaul solution with new 1830 Versatile WDM Module (VWM) optical platforms, allowing operators to accelerate the deployment of centralised RAN architectures.
The solution is designed enable mobile operators to satisfy growing consumer demand for streaming video and downloading high-definition movies on mobile devices, as well as traffic demand from IoT-connected objects.
Operators can meet surging data traffic on their networks and offer consumers higher-speed mobile broadband services profitably by moving to a centralized RAN architecture. In centralised RAN architectures, baseband processing is separated from RF (radio frequency) equipment such as remote radio heads (RRHs) and run in a single location, allowing faster mobile broadband, increased capacity and lower operating costs.
Nolkia believes adoption of centralised RAN has been hindered by an inability to deploy fronthaul networks in a cost-effective, easy to operate and scalable way, with high enough performance to quickly transfer massive amounts of traffic between the remote radio heads and centralised baseband equipment.
Nokia's 1830 VWM portfolio claims to remove these barriers with a cost-effective platform able to deliver the scale, ease of operation and performance needed to make fronthaul networks viable in large centralised RAN deployments.
The expanded Nokia mobile fronthaul solution:
Five new products offering minimal footprint and power consumption with maximum reach:
• 1830 VWM Photonic Managed Unit (PMU), an optical multiplexing unit for combining multiple wavelengths over a single fibre with management capabilities for Service Level Agreement (SLA) and demarcation.
• 1830 VWM Translation Line Unit (TLU), a wavelength translation unit for colorizing non-WDM optical signals.
• 1830 VWM Optical Supervisory Unit (OSU), an OAM unit for end-to-end network monitoring.
• 1830 VWM TLU/PMU-4, a fully outdoor hardened unit combining multiplexing, colorising and management functions for small cells.
• Site Monitoring Module, provides proactive monitoring of alarms based on user-defined inputs at cell site locations with the ability to turn on/off appliances and devices.
• Increases fibre capacity by combining multiple wavelengths onto a single fiber using wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM), reducing capital expenditures (CAPEX) by up to 32% compared to using dark fibre alone.
• Meets the strictest performance and bandwidth requirements scaling to meet all CPRI/OBSAI rates (CPRI 1-8 and OBSAI 1,2,4,8)
• Simplifies operations and manageability with end-to-end operations, administration and maintenance (OAM) tools, adding active network monitoring and management to passive optical systems.
• Offers wavelength translation capabilities, making it vendor-agnostic, faster and simpler to deploy and more cost-effective by avoiding the need to have colorised optics in radio and baseband equipment.
• Backed by a comprehensive set of fronthaul services including deployment, maintenance, professional and managed services.
• Enhances Nokia's comprehensive Mobile Transport Solution, which supports a full range of transport needs with IP, optical, fixed and microwave products.
Live demonstrations of the new platforms will be shown at Nokia's Mobile World Congress booth, Hall 3, Stand 3B10.
Andrew Schmitt, Founder and Principal Partner, Cignal AI, said: "As a leading vendor of both RAN and optical transport equipment, Nokia is well positioned to deliver total solutions for the transition to centralized RAN.
“WDM-based optical fronthaul equipment like the 1830 VWM series is an essential part of this transition since transport requirements for centralized RAN and LTE-A will totally saturate fiber capacity previously designed for 4G networks and Ethernet backhaul.
“Nokia's solution allows operators to scale fiber resources by adding capacity through WDM, making it economically viable for operators to deploy fronthaul networks at scale in support of their move to centralized RAN as a path to 5G."
Dimitris Mavrakis, Principal Analyst, Intelligent Networks, Ovum, said: "Radio network densification is one of the structural evolutions operators are now assessing on the journey to 5G, and while centralized RAN is a key element of this, mobile fronthaul is a key challenge. We are estimating that global spending on mobile fronthaul equipment will grow annually by 24% to US$1 billion by 2020.
“Nokia has positioned itself for this opportunity by offering operators a compelling, cost-effective transformation platform that meets the strictest CPRI/OBSAI requirements while reducing cost and power consumption and simplifying operations by providing full visibility and management of the fronthaul network."
Sam Bucci, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Optical Networking at Nokia, said: "Recognizing the need of mobile operators to move to centralized RAN architectures, we have been collaborating with some of the largest operators in the world to expand the 1830 VWM portfolio.
“Through 30-plus customer engagements, we've been able to develop a toolkit that will successfully tailor our fronthaul solution to fit any number of deployment scenarios. With this expansion of the 1830 family of optical products, Nokia further solidifies its Mobile Transport leadership with the industry's most comprehensive fronthaul and backhaul solutions."