Nokia and Elisa Complete Industry’s First Cloud RAN Trial with In-Line Acceleration

Nokia and Elisa have achieved a groundbreaking milestone by successfully conducting the industry’s inaugural trial of Cloud RAN powered by In-Line acceleration. The trial, held at Elisa’s headquarters in Finland, utilized its 5G Standalone RAN and 5G Core, showcasing the potential of Nokia’s anyRAN approach.
Elisa 5G businessBuilding on Nokia’s anyRAN philosophy, which prioritizes feature richness, energy efficiency, and high performance of Cloud RAN over purpose-built RAN, the trial employed In-Line layer 1 (L1) acceleration. This innovative approach guarantees enhanced flexibility by enabling the selection between x86 and ARM-based ecosystems, ensuring optimal network performance.

Conducted in an over-the-air environment, the trial utilized 100MHz cells on the n78 spectrum band (3.5 GHz band), a globally prevalent 5G capacity band. Data calls were successfully executed using a variety of test and commercial user devices. The trial adhered to a Nokia reference design and featured a CaaS layer from RedHat, coupled with an x86 server architecture. The impressive feature performance validated immediate interoperability with 5G user equipment and Elisa’s 5G core network.

Elisa, a frontrunner in network cloudification, views this development as a significant step towards fostering innovation and enhancing the scalability of network services. Anticipated commercial deployments over the next few years in Finland will continue the evolution of cloudification within core networks. This strategic transformation promises higher levels of network automation, bolstering flexibility and agility in end-user service provisioning.

Nokia’s anyRAN approach offers an open platform to construct future-ready radio access networks in collaboration with a diverse ecosystem of industry partners. This approach provides mobile operators and enterprises with increased flexibility in selecting cloud infrastructure software, hardware, and technology suppliers. Collaborating with Nokia empowers operators to transition to a Hybrid RAN, where both Cloud RAN and purpose-built RAN deployments coexist seamlessly, ensuring consistent, high-quality performance.

Markus Kinnunen, Vice President of Cloud Services at Elisa, commended the achievement, stating, “This first call using Cloud RAN is a remarkable milestone on our cloudification journey, expanding towards the access network.”

Mark Atkinson, Head of RAN at Nokia, emphasized the significance of the trial, stating, “This important trial with Elisa confirms the effectiveness and maturity of Nokia’s anyRAN approach and our open Cloud RAN architecture powered by In-Line L1 acceleration.” The successful trial paves the way for future advancements and sets a new standard for cloud-driven 5G networks.