Nokia, Intel and Verizon collaborate on new virtualized RAN architectures on path to commercialization

Nokia, Intel and Verizon announced on Monday collaboration on new Cloud RAN architectures to provide the flexibility needed for the operator’s future services and requirements for 4G, 5G and IoT in the cloud.

The initial milestone in developing Verizon’s vRAN 1.0 architecture and path to commercialization was a trial of Cloud RAN in Oklahoma City, using Verizon’s existing edge cloud infrastructure and the Nokia AirScale Cloud Base Station Server, featuring the Intel Xeon Scalable Processor family. The trial furthers the joint work between Nokia and Intel to develop the next technological step of Cloud RAN, Verizon’s vRAN 2.0 architecture, which will bring everything but the radio network in the cloud.

The collaborative work represents a key milestone for Verizon’s cloud migration path, enabling the operator to significantly lower capital and operational expenditures for its network, and increase the number of users per cell, leading to lower costs per user.

The development efforts also provide flexible and scalable capacity, plus continuous software delivery for Verizon’s customers.

Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN offers benefits that enable users to take advantage of the cloud by automatically scaling network capacity as demand changes; launching new services in days or even hours, not months; ability to run real-time services based on what’s happening around customers; capability to meet any demand by sending capacity from anywhere in the network to anywhere it’s needed; and re-using existing 4.5G network transport to launch new 5G services.

“Verizon is committed to furthering innovation within the ecosystem by ensuring deployment flexibility,” said Bill Stone, vice president, Technology Development & Planning, Verizon. “Verizon’s Intelligent Edge Network, which maximizes this flexibility, will allow faster upgrades, allowing our customers access to the latest technology as quickly as possible.”

“Developing a software defined network is vital to transform today’s infrastructure to the level of flexibility and agility required to handle the demand of 4G, 5G, and IoT services,” said Caroline Chan, vice president and general manager, 5G Infrastructure Division, Network Platforms Group, Intel. “This successful trial and continued collaboration with Nokia and Verizon pushes the industry forward and demonstrates how Intel technologies and reference platforms can accelerate deployment of  advanced virtualized RAN running on an open and flexible cloud architecture.”

“Virtualization is all about flexibility. By putting the radio access network in the cloud we can provide 5G architecture that quickly creates increased capacity in the baseband and scalability for both 4G and 5G networks,” said Marc Rouanne, president of Mobile Networks at Nokia. “This is one of Nokia’s clear strengths in the 5G story – a pioneer in virtual RAN, with networks already in commercial service. Now, with Verizon, we’re developing a high-performing network that will allow it to remain continually on top of the traffic demands from its networks.”


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