Nokia says AirScale Radio enhancements boost 3G, pave way to 5G

Nokia Espoo HQ
Nokia HQ building

Nokia pledged that additions to its AirScale Radio Access range will deliver operational and cost efficiencies covering 3G networks.

The vendor on Monday announced its AirScale RNC, which it said is the first true cloud-based 3G radio network controller. In a statement, the company noted that 3G is tipped to remain highly relevant over the next four years, pointing to GSA forecasts that around 40 per cent of mobile subscribers will continue to access 3G networks in 2020.

Nokia said that moving the controller to the cloud enables operators to protect their investments and benefit from scalability across multiple technologies. The RNC, which is due to launch in the first quarter of 2017, will also offer greater levels of automation and flexibility, the company stated.

The vendor also updated various AirScale radios that it first announced at the Mobile World Congress in February, including support for additional paired and unpaired frequency bands in a move that it said will better match the demands of operator’s multiple technology radio access networks.

Specifically, the updates aim to tap into growing deployments of LTE-Advanced Pro, which Nokia states is also referred to as 4.5G Pro.

Frank Weyerich, head of Mobile Networks Products at Nokia, said the combination of 4.5G Pro and cloud-based radio access networks will enable operators to “leverage scalability and flexibility as they start to provide 5G-like use cases on top of LTE”.

The vendor’s forthcoming cloud-based RND and the extensions to its range of AirScale radio and services will enable its operator customers to “evolve in the most cost-effective and timely way,” Weyerich added.

Nokia’s latest announcements follow hot on the heels of similar LTE-Advanced Pro updates to its range of small cells.

Mark Atkinson, Nokia’s small cell chief, said new features on its Flexi Zone self-organising network (SON) portfolio will “smooth operators’ deployment of much-needed capacity into their networks,” enabling them to “prepare for the ever-growing demands of people and IoT”.

For more:
- see Nokia’s AirScale announcement

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