Nokia launched its next generation AirScale Radio Access at Mobile World Congress 2016 with the bold claim that it ‘will radically alter the way networks are built’. The first demonstration of the new Nokia AirScale Radio Access live, with a 5G-ready air interface, was run during MWC 2016.
The company said operators will be able to use the AirScale Radio Access to profitably satisfy future demands including the Internet of Things, virtual reality, augmented reality, factories of the future and other advanced scenarios such as video that demand extreme performance.
The new radio access generation includes cloud-based Radio Access Network (RAN) designed for open interfaces. Nokia Airscale can run all radio technologies simultaneously in one base station; use any architecture topology; be scaled to virtually unlimited capacity; and it uses 60% less energy than Nokia's existing radio access platform.
Nokia added that the AirScale is extremely versatile and compact, allowing it to be installed in novel locations using any available transport and be effectively hidden from view
Key features of Nokia AirScale Radio Access:
- Supports any radio technology (2G, 3G, TDD-LTE, FDD-LTE, LTE Advanced, LTE Advanced Pro) running simultaneously in the base station as Single RAN, integrates carrier-grade Wi-Fi access and is 5G-ready
- Baseband units can be chained to create virtually unlimited capacity and connectivity to meet the needs of massive IoT connectivity and 5G speeds
- The Cloud RAN uses Nokia's AirFrame IT hardware, which meets stringent radio access capacity, security and latency requirements
- Implements Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) on the same servers as Cloud RAN for easy integration of applications that can use information from the radio for low latency services
- Nokia's future-proof management solution, Nokia NetAct and Nokia CloudBand, can be used for both legacy radio networks and new Cloud RAN, offering easy transformation to virtualisation.
Nokia AirScale Radio Access solution components:
- Nokia AirScale Base Station, which includes new multiband RF elements and system modules
- Cloud RAN with Nokia AirScale Cloud Base Station Server running on Nokia AirFrame data centre solution
- Nokia AirScale Wi-Fi, including Wi-Fi Access points and Nokia AirScale Wi-Fi Controller running on Nokia AirFrame data centre solution
- Common software across Nokia's radio access including small cells
- Supported by services that utilise intelligent analytics and extreme automation to maximise the performance of hybrid networks.
Samih Elhage, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: "The world will witness immense changes over the next few years. Broadband traffic will continue to surge as people go beyond video and take advantage of augmented and virtual reality.
“The Internet of Things will see billions of devices connected, and 5G will enable new scenarios such as Industry 4.0, smart cities, e-health and mobile living. Nokia AirScale is designed from the ground up for this new era, while also introducing ground-breaking cloud-based capabilities."