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Nokia announced that it is working with Japanese mobile operator, KDDI, in a joint initiative aimed at delivering a fully cloudified RAN solution. The planned lab-based Proof of Concept (PoC) will use Nokia’s AirScale All-in-Cloud BTS solution and enable KDDI to research how flexible, virtualized radio network technology can support the diversifying network performance requirements in the 5G era. KDDI joins an expanding portfolio of global customers using Nokia’s Cloud RAN solutions.

Nokia’s AirScale All-in-Cloud BTS is a fully cloudified 5G BTS, placing both the real-time and non-real-time baseband in the cloud.The virtualized real-time baseband processing takes place at the far edge of the network to meet extreme latency requirements and provide the ability to scale to meet demand. It is part of Nokia’s broader Nokia AirScale Cloud RAN solution, which offers a flexible mix of local and cloud-based processing.

AirScale All-in-Cloud BTS will be used in the planned PoC to provide a flexible network configuration of a base station virtualization and enable the provision of an optimal 5G network. KDDI launched commercial 5G services in March 2020 and is pursuing a policy of collaborating with global companies to incorporate new ideas and technologies into its 5G network. KDDI has been working closely with Nokia on this PoC as well as 5G core standalone network trials.

Nokia’s Cloud RAN is already running commercial traffic in the world’s first cloud-based 5G network in North America, with 5G AirScale Cloud BTS which virtualizes the non-real-time functions. Nokia is working on an increasing number of Cloud RAN PoCs and trials with its global customer base. The AirScale All-in-Cloud BTS solution supports ultra-low latency 5G services, meets IoT requirements and enables flexible end-to-end network slicing. It also offers the additional coverage and capacity of 5G and reduces a mobile operator’s total cost of ownership through simplification, automation and operational efficiency.

Ari Kynaslahti, Head of Mobile Networks Product Management at Nokia, commented: “The 5G era will bring with incredible opportunities for businesses and consumers alike but it will place increasing demand on the networks as complexity increases and data traffic explodes. KDDI will be able to use virtualized networks to rapidly respond to its customers’ varied requirements. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with them in the pursuit of virtualized network best practices and in preparing for a new decade of communication technology.”