Nokia has completed a live network trial in Poland in collaboration with Orange to validate the benefits of cloud-optimised radio access networks for the smooth evolution to next-generation 5G technologies.
The two companies trialled Cloud RAN (C-RAN) technology to prepare for the eventual introduction of a distributed cloud architecture for 5G by Orange. A distributed, cloud-based radio access network architecture like Nokia’s AirScale Cloud RAN provides capacity where needed and prepares the network for the deployment of new 5G access technology as part of a multi-layered architecture.
The trial took place from March to the beginning of May in Poland, with radio sites in the city of Chelm and the virtualised part of the baseband running in a data centre in Lublin, around 70 km away. As a result, Nokia’s AirScale Cloud Base Station provided equally strong network performance on both Nokia’s reference cloud infrastructure and on Orange’s own cloud environment.
Nokia’s architecture splits baseband processing functionality across the radio cell sites and data centre using its AirScale Cloud Base Station. Time-critical functions are performed at the cell site and connected via Ethernet fronthaul – allowing the operator to use its existing transport network – while centralised software hosted at the data centre cost-efficiently performs non real-time functions.
Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN provides the flexibility needed for future services and requirements for 5G, Internet of Things (IoT), low latency services and end-to-end slicing.