It follows the work of the O-RAN Alliance in creating a common specification enabling interoperability between different vendors. It is the latest milestone demonstrating it's commitment to O-RAN and open networks, Nokia says.
During the trial at DOCOMO’s Lab in Yokosuka, Nokia said it's 5G O-RAN AirScale baseband was successfully integrated and tested with third-party O-RUs (radio units). Nokia’s O-RAN capabilities are built on top of its AirScale software and provide the same high level of performance, functionality, and security as Nokia's radio products. Nokia is helping to prepare for the network architecture of the future by building open interfaces on top of its existing solutions, offering CSPs a choice to pursue O-RAN.
Nokia says it has already made significant investments in O-RAN by leading the early deployment of the RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC) and the open fronthaul.
The O-RAN Alliance was formed in 2018 to define common interfaces between systems to reduce complexity and accelerate the deployment of multi-vendor RANs. It specified an eCPRI-based 7-2x open interface between the Radio Unit (O-RU) and Distributed Unit (O-DU). This is a standardised fronthaul interface that enables multi-vendor interoperability while optimising the cost of fronthaul transmission and maximising radio-frequency performance, Nokia says.
NTT DOCOMO general manager radio access network development Sadayuki Abeta commented, “NTT DOCOMO has been actively driving open RAN standardisation and commercialisation, being the world’s first operator to deploy multi-vendor O-RAN solutions for the 5G network.
"Successful testing with Nokia is an important step in further accelerating open RAN commercialisation and its global expansion.”
Nokia president of mobile networks Tommi Uitto said, “This project with NTT DOCOMO is further evidence of our commitment to leading the open mobile future by investing in Open RAN solutions. Open RAN technology will enrich the mobile ecosystem with new solutions and business models and support an expanded multi-vendor ecosystem.
"We have the scale and capabilities to address the increased customer demand for this technology, underpinned by the world-class network performance and security that only Nokia can deliver."
This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 9 December 2021.