Nokia reveals timeframe for Open RAN products

Nokia said it is ramping up the adoption of Open RAN (O-RAN) interfaces in its AirScale portfolio in order to enhance its leadership in open solutions.
Nokia AirScale small cellNokia said the enhancement to its radio access network (RAN) portfolio will enable an open ecosystem of innovation and a robust telecom supply chain, while ensuring improvement in network performance and security.

New O-RAN capabilities include open interfaces — will be built on top of Nokia’s existing AirScale software – will be providing high-level performance, expansive functionalities and robust security standards of Nokia’s current radio products.

Nokia said it is helping to prepare for the network architecture of the future, regardless if CSPs choose to pursue an O-RAN path or not. An initial set of O-RAN functionalities will become available this year, while the full suite of O-RAN-defined interfaces is expected to be available in 2021.

Nokia, the only global RAN provider to commit to O-RAN, has accelerated its investment in O-RAN providing SPs as well as regulators and political decision-makers with assurance that they can use openness to secure their telecom supply chain, without concerns about the competitiveness and/or security of their 5G infrastructure.

Huawei, the #1 telecom equipment maker, is currently facing a ban on the supply of 5G network to operators because of security issues.

Nokia has already made significant investments in O-RAN by leading the early deployment of the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and the open fronthaul.

Tommi Uitto, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia, said: “Nokia is committed to leading the open mobile future by investing in Open RAN and Cloud RAN solutions with the aim of enabling a robust telecom ecosystem with strong network performance and security.”

New mobile operators are committing to Open RAN and alternative hardware vendors throughout their networks, and legacy operators are using O-RAN to create opportunities for innovative new products to fit into their complex networks, Joe Madden, principal analyst at Mobile Experts, said.