Adding to the industry push towards greater communications technology diversity through open radio access network (Open RAN) solutions, Nokia has forged a partnership with Brazil’s Telecommunications Research and Development Centre (CPQD) to jointly develop applications and systems based on the Open RAN-compliant near-real time RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC).
The RIC is a virtualised 5G optimisation technology that adds programmability to a RAN and enables artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) as well as new services.
It provides a framework for deploying applications from multiple sources. The result is a near-real time RIC platform that can provide functions and interfaces that boost optimisation, enables automation and provides faster and more flexible service deployments.
Founded in 1976, CPQD is one of Brazil’s largest independent research and development institutions in the field of information technologies. Its mission is to enhance Brazil’s technology-related competitiveness as well as improve the digital inclusion of society.
The partnership with Nokia will see CPQD become the first research centre in Latin America to work on applications for the RIC platform. It will focus on 5G use cases in cooperation with Nokia’s Brazilian mobile operator customers, including fixed wireless access (FWA), smart cities, the internet of things (IoT) for Industry 4.0 and critical networks, which will be customised for the Brazilian market.
“This is an important collaboration that will help to shape the future of 5G networks in Brazil,” said Frederico Nava, director of solutions and consulting at CPQD. “We look forward to a fruitful and successful partnership with Nokia and to introducing a range of innovative 5G-based use cases to the market.”
Ari Kynäslahti, head of technology and strategy at Nokia Mobile Network, added: “This important partnership will explore the potential for innovative 5G use cases that will have real-world value in Brazil across a range of different areas, such as smart cities and fixed wireless access.
“Our RAN Intelligent Controller will play a critical role in this research, helping to explore and trial new cutting-edge use cases that will put Brazil at the forefront in the 5G era.”
Using Nokia’s Service Enablement Platform (SEP), which combines the capabilities of the RIC and multi-access edge computing (MEC), the collaboration is designed to create innovative use cases at the network edge.
These use cases utilise Nokia’s optimised AirFrame open edge server solution and will allow CPQD to explore the potential of 5G to deliver an enhanced network performance with lower energy consumption, greater reliability and security.
The SEP is also designed to enable use cases at the edge of the RAN. It runs on the edge or far edge datacentre and can share infrastructure with Cloud RAN or other virtualised network functions using open API capabilities to enable an agile and dynamic edge cloud environment for secure innovation with ecosystem and third parties.
Nokia’s edge-optimised AirFrame open edge server solution provides secured and high performance ultra-small footprint edge cloud infrastructure for indoor and outdoor environments.
Nokia has been at the forefront of developing Open RAN solutions, and was the first major supplier to join the Open RAN Alliance, co-chairing the workgroups that are defining the Open Fronthaul Interface and the near real-time RIC, to help automate and optimise networks.
Nokia has also been working within the Open RAN Alliance to help develop the open reference architectures and open interfaces that will be critical to the delivery of interoperable Open RAN solutions.
In July 2020, the communications technology supplier joined the Open RAN Policy Coalition.