AT&T has conducted a limited live trial of the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) over its 5G mmWave network in New York City – in association with Nokia.
The RIC platform will enable increased network optimization capabilities through policy-guided, closed loop automation, Nokia said.
Last year, AT&T and Nokia announced their collaboration to co-develop the RIC software platform, in alignment with the O-RAN Alliance target architecture, to accelerate the creation of open source software for the 5G RAN.
Mazin Gilbert, VP of Technology and Innovation at AT&T, said: “Together with the O-RAN Alliance, AT&T and Nokia will continue to develop and contribute to the E2 interface and the RIC platform to help enable an intelligent and flexible 5G network.”
AT&T ran a series of external applications, called “xApps,” at the edge of AT&T’s live 5G mmWave network on an Akraino-based Open Cloud Platform. The xApps used in the trial were designed to improve spectrum efficiency, as well as offer geographical and use case-based customization and rapid feature onboarding, Nokia said.
AT&T and Nokia tested the RAN E2 interface and xApp management and control, collected live network data using the Measurement Campaign xApp, the neighbor relation management using Automated Neighbor Relation (ANR) xApp, and tested RAN control via the Admission Control xApp – with zero interruption to the live commercial network.
“This represents a major milestone toward the advancement of RAN network intelligence, openness and programmability, with the ultimate goal of improving wireless networks efficiency and end user experience,” Michael Clever, head of Edge Cloud Platforms at Nokia, said.