Nokia boosts portfolio to keep things hopping to 5G

Nokia small cell
More small cells means more self-organizing features to ensure high performance.

Nokia plans to have the backs of operators as they sail toward 5G, promising greater capacity, higher speeds and more flexibility in how operators use licensed and unlicensed spectrum.

Similar to the message of rival Ericsson a day prior, Nokia says it’s putting operators on the path to 5G while boosting 4G performance. Nokia says it’s especially important in dense urban environments for operators to have flexibility as they deploy the next wave of small cells.

“This is really about making sure that LTE networks are in a position to support 5G when 5G comes so that you don’t fall off a cliff” when migrating to 5G, according to Phil Twist, VP of mobile networks marketing at Nokia. 5G standards are still being created, but that’s not slowing down operators and their vendors.

Nokia’s Flexi Zone small cells boast self-organizing network features, and Nokia extended the self-organizing network features on its Femtocell portfolio to ensure smoother integration and higher performance in heterogeneous networks as traffic is offloaded from the macro network. Basically, as small cells are packed closely together, they work together to complement each other rather than shouting over one another, according to Twist.

RELATED: Nokia, Ericsson validate 3.5 GHz CBRS gear with Federated Wireless’ SAS

Nokia’s been a big proponent in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Services space in the U.S., and it announced new features on the Nokia Flexi Zone CBRS small cells, supporting Spectrum Access Server and CBRS Device Proxy connectivity, offering operators new options for boosting coverage and capacity, particularly inside buildings. CBRS Flexi Zone small cells can be used to deploy neutral host capabilities, allowing operators to lease capacity to other providers inside malls, hotels and office blocks where space is at a premium.

For more backhaul flexibility for network operators, the Wavence portfolio, which was announced earlier this year at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, now supports Carrier SDN, and operators can use microwave transport where desired. Nokia says that anchoring its multitechnology access is the Nokia Cloud Packet Core, where cloud-native capabilities and operations deliver the performance to support increasing capacity, massive scalability required for densification and deployment flexibility necessary for low latency.

"Nokia is committed to providing the most effective and cost-efficient path to 5G for our customers through evolutionary enhancements to their networks,” said Harold Graham, head of the 5G business line at Nokia, in a statement. “We truly understand how changes in each area of a network will affect the network as a whole, and as we evolve our end-to-end portfolio of technologies and services we are working closely with customers to ensure they are always ahead of their customers' needs and expectations."

Nokia was granted permission back in July to conduct demonstrations of 5G prototype equipment to potential customers at Mobile World Congress Americas taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco next week.