Nokia has extended its AirScale Radio Access family and services portfolio first announced at Mobile World Congress 2016. Nokia claimed the new radios will help accelerate the planning, design and roll-out of cloud-based radio access networks by mobile operators.
The company said this will increase the agility with which they can respond to growing data-driven subscriber demand and the onset of the Internet of Things (IoT), and ensure a smooth evolution toward 5G technology.
The Nokia AirScale RNC (claimed to be the first true cloud-based 3G radio network controller) will deliver operational and cost efficiencies for the world's most widely deployed radio access technology, Nokia said.
Analysts estimate that 40% of mobile network subscribers will continue to access 3G networks in 2020*, so by moving the controller to the cloud, operators will be able to protect investments and benefit sooner from greater scalability across technologies, better automation and inherent flexibility.
Nokia said it has already conducted successful tests of the AirScale RNC with operators; and will make it commercially available during the first quarter of 2017.
The new radios, supporting additional paired and unpaired frequency bands, will meet more operators' multiple technology radio access network demands. The three new radios are:
Nokia AirScale RRH 4T4R B40 160W for 2300 MHz (Band 40), with the highest transmit power in its category at 160W, can provide support for up to 100 MHz of unpaired spectrum and will allow operators in parts of the globe, including China, India, the Middle East and Africa, Europe and North America, to grow network capacity and data rates massively with 4.5G Pro.
Nokia AirScale RRH 2T2R B28 120W for the Asia Pacific Telecommunity band (APT) 700 MHz (Band 28) supporting operators in parts of the world including India, Asia Pacific, Latin America and Europe.
This thinnest full-band radio at 73mm offers world-leading macro site compactness, allowing network coverage to be dramatically extended to close the digital divide and acting as a foundation for multiband carrier aggregation of 4.5G Pro.
Nokia AirScale RRH 2T2R B11 120W for 1500 MHz (Band 11) is available in the advanced market of Japan. With the lowest power consumption and highest transmit power of 120 W, it will enable the lowest total cost of ownership for Japanese operators as they expand their networks with coverage and capacity for 4.5G Pro.
The new Nokia Services portfolio for the AirScale Cloud RAN and AirFrame Data Center will assist operators in accelerating the planning, design, roll-out and operations of their cloud-based radio access networks.
• Transformation Consulting guides operators through the different evolution scenarios to Cloud RAN, identifying how it will impact their operations and organization, and how they will need to prepare.
• Network design uses performance driven design to help operators maximize the value of virtualization.
• Smart Deployment focuses on delivering the fastest and highest-quality technology roll-out and integration.
• Data Center Energy Solutions allow operators to minimize energy losses by using Nokia high efficiency uninterrupted power supply solutions.
• Cloud Operations ensures a highly automated industrialized environment to reduce time to market for subscriber services.
Frank Weyerich, head of Mobile Networks Products at Nokia said: "The journey to 5G can be smoothed by choosing the right technology path. With 4.5G Pro and cloud-based radio access networks, operators can leverage scalability and flexibility as they start to provide 5G-like use cases on top of LTE, taking user experience to the next level.
“Also, with prime examples such as the launch of the first true cloud-based RNC and the expansion of our AirScale radios and services portfolio, we are showing that Nokia is leading in this space, enabling customers to evolve in the most cost-effective and timely way."